Hebrews 12:1-3 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Several years ago, I decided that I needed to learn how to scuba dive. I signed up for a class that included a natural learning progression of classroom academics, a swimming pool dive, a small lake dive, and a concluding open-water dive. All was going well, until the final checkout off the coast of North Carolina.
Before that trip, our instructor recommended that we take some medication to avoid motion sicknesses. After all, the dive site was an hour away from the shore and the weather conditions were expected to provide a bumpy boat ride out to the point where we entered the water. I was an active fighter pilot, with no problems with motion sickness during a career of bumps, twists, turns, rolls, and loops. Thus, I scoffed at his recommendation.
Indeed, it was bumpy on the way out to the dive site, but nothing my iron stomach couldn’t handle. All I needed to do was maintain a gaze on the stable horizon and I stayed oriented and well. But, at some point as we approached our destination, we were directed to don our full scuba gear. At the moment I looked down to pull up my suit, I started mentally tumbling. I recovered by shifting my gaze back to the horizon, but the damage to my stomach had been done.
Please note, I never got actively sick. But, I was miserable the rest of the day. And, while I completed the dive and received my full qualification, I have never had the stomach to return to the water to try it again.
God provides us trusted stability in our lives, in spite of the bumpy ride that we all face. During the race we are called to run, we are to do so with patience and with a gaze firmly fixed on the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and for ever. On our behalf, He endured the cross and despised the shame. And, regardless of whether we seem to have an iron stomach and a stable orientation, a slight glance away from the Horizon may cause us to tumble and never truly recover from the damage that is done.
PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO NEVER TAKE OUR GAZE OFF OF CHRIST. In a world of bumps, twists, turns, rolls and loops, we are rely on the sure and steady Horizon that is Christ Himself.
Please see the following for another example of the importance of a fixed gaze on Christ: