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Today’s Truth

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…

(Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

Friend to Friend

My son was fast, and he ran with a fast crowd. As a matter of fact, his entire track team was fast! In the ninth grade, Steven participated in the conference track meet, running the 1600 meters. (That’s four times around the big circle.) I was so proud of him as he ran like a gazelle around the first lap, about six feet behind the first-place contestant. But at the beginning of the second lap we saw an unidentified flying object soar over Steven’s head.

“What was that?” my husband asked.

“I think it was his shoe!” I replied with amusement.

All the fans were laughing and pointing as they noticed Steven’s left running shoe fly heavenward and land on the grassy field. But amazingly, Steven kept running and never missed a step. With one shoe off and one shoe on, he continued around the track. The atmosphere of the race lit with excitement, and the focus seemed to change. It became less about who would win and more about if shoeless Steven would make it to the finish line. Would he stop? Would he slow down? Would his sock stay on?

His teammates began to run around the track, cheering him on. “Come on, Steven! Don’t give up! Don’t slow down! Keep going!”

Surprisingly, at the urging of his teammates, Steven sped up. By the third lap, he had passed the first-place runner by several paces. But then, predictably, his sock started to work its way down the ankle and the toe was flopping like a loose sole of a worn old shoe. Undaunted, Steven ran on, sock flopping.

When Steven crossed the finish line in first place, the crowd erupted in applause and laughter. He had broken his personal best running time!

“Son, maybe you should have kicked off both shoes,” my husband chuckled. “No tellin’ how fast you could have run. You made your best time ever. What made the difference?”

“I knew everybody was watching me,” Steven answered. “It wasn’t just a race anymore; they were watching to see what I’d do. It made me go faster. It made me want to do better.”

All through our lives, we will notice friends, or “fellow runners” who have lost more than a shoe—they have lost their hopes, their dreams, and their will to finish the race. What will we do? What can we do? We can cheer them on by offering a timely word of encouragement and running alongside them shouting, “Come on, friend! Don’t give up! Don’t slow down! Keep going!”

Who knows, that friend may do more than simply finish the race. She may even take first place!

But what if you’re the one who’s lost hope in the race? Hear these encouraging words from God. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).

And that’s not all. We have a cloud of witnesses cheering for us as well. Even though we may not hear them, the Bible tells us this: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV). They’re not just spectators at the race, they are cheering you on! You go girl! Keep going even if you’ve lost your shoe.

Let’s Pray

Father, I’m tired today. I feel like I’ve lost a shoe in the race, but know I need to keep going. Help me to feel the cheering of the great cloud of witnesses surrounding me. And Lord, help me to be a cheerleader for my friends who need an extra word of encouragement today.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Send an email or text to a friend or two to let them know that you are praying for them and cheering for them today.

Close your eyes and picture the heavenly host cheering for you!

More from the Girlfriends

Sharon’s re-released and updated version of her best-selling book and Bible study guide, The Power of a Woman’s Words: How the Words You Speak Shape the Lives of Others are hot off the press. They include new content, including a chapter on the power of a woman’s words to her adult children…it’s complicated! Perfect for your women’s ministry’s next Bible study!

Words are one of the most powerful forces in the universe, and God has entrusted them to you! They echo in hearts and minds long after they are spoken. How will we use this gift? Your words can change the course of someone’s day…even someone’s life. Learn how to

  • exchange careless words that hurt for intentional words that help others succeed
  • recognize words that tear down confidence and replace them with words that build others up
  • overcome the negativity that pushes people away and become a well of positivity that draws others in
  • tame your tongue by practicing practical principles that help you think before you speak
  • stop being disappointed in your lack of control by taking hold of the power of the Holy Spirit

7 Responses to “When You’ve Lost a Shoe in the Race”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Thank You for this devotional today. What a great story about your son, I’m sure thee’s a lot of laughter in the re-telling of it around your family’s table :). This devotional is very encouraging to me today…and I really needed it! Thank You

  2. Tonia says:

    Loved this!

  3. Stefani says:

    This has been a season of lost shoes. Actually still trying to find them. Thank you for the sweet reminder that people and heavenly hosts are on my side cheering me on.

  4. Rochelle says:

    Thank you for the devotional reading today. It was a pleasure to read and much needed. I have felt as if both shoes were lost in the race of the last five years with various journeys that have taken place in my life and the people around me. However, I refuse to give in or give up. There are people watching me some for encouragement and hope to move forward. Some to see if I will fail and they can destroy my spirit and soul. But God is faithful and just. He will not allow me to fail. He is victouroius. He has enstilled in me power and purpose. I will continue to be victorious in the name of Jesus for everything with God is perfect, organized, and in abundance of greatness. A great deal of people and generations to come are depending on me to thrive, stay in and win the race. So again, I thank you for this awesome word that inspired me this morning. Prior to reading I had completed my task by sending out 10 text messages of encouragement this morning to various friends and family. Have a awesome day!!

  5. I love this. It’s so true I too need this prayer daily.

    I lost my husband, September 2019 it’s been so very hard. We were married 15 years. Not only did I LOOSE my husband. I lost his family as well. Except his sister that is full of love and has the LORD in her life.

    As my whole family has for generation’s.
    I need prayers for myself and. My 20 year old daughter that is graduated high school and College.

    I am very proud of her she is a strong will girl, smart and As well beautiful.

    She has me so worried on a part of corruption from the world of TATTOO and wearing these crystals that she thinks that are a POSITIVE thing to wear.

    She knows the Lord as I she was raised in church, Sunday school, youth, traveling with the youth….

    Some how alone the way. She can BELIEVE what’s she wants to believe.

    I’m so worried for her. I’m worried about myself as well.

    I feel so tired drain lack of being positive about what road she is gonna go DOWN.

    I’ve talk I pray over her with her. My family

    I really need lots of encouragement just as this story shows here.

    Goo has been here for me in my life so many times. He’s pulled me threw timed I just wanted to give up. And not live.

    I know that Jesus never left me because, I’m here as a witness today.

    Thank you for the prayers I’m asking of everyone that reads this… To let Cheyenne know that there is ONLY ONE GOD ONLY ONE HEAVEN AND HELL IS REAL!!!!

    I am Deanna and my daughter Cheyenne please pray over us daily..🙏

    Thank you for this message.

    My Aunt Bonnie sent me this link. I will read this daikly

  6. Zandile says:

    Oh my word,what manner of wisdom is this.I have been in many races and I know now as to why I did not finish the race, because I focused on the shoe that I have lost instead of focusing on the race. Thank you so much. This is the real Gospel that our Lord Jesus Christ came to present to the world.

  7. Nicki says:

    Love this. Thank you so much for sharing. In a moment, when I was focusing on how I felt so behind in the dream God had given me and I felt I lost a shoe, I read this post. It so blessed me and encouraged me. It guided me home and focused me to run even harder. Thank you.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8