There are a couple of appropriate verses in Hebrews 12 that encourage us during difficult days. They could be summarized as gaining a second wind. Any long-distance runner knows there comes a point during the race where he hits a wall and it seems as if he will not be able to finish. And then, suddenly, he receives renewed breath and energy to press on toward the finish line. Our author writes in Hebrews 12:12-13, “Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.” These two verses are taken from Isaiah 35. The people of God had been through a lot. So many of them were weak and weary, unable to even think about moving forward. Let’s examine these verses carefully and discover what God may have for us in its message today.
The hands are pictured drooping or hanging down and the knees as locked up and stiff. The antidote for this diminished capacity and weakened state is to be strengthened. The word “strengthen” means to make straight or upright again. It is not so much a picture of renewed power as it is of being rightly aligned. It is to restore straightness or erectness. Automatically, I think of the realignment of someone’s spine when being treated by a chiropractor. In biblical times, medical writers used this term to speak of setting dislocated parts of the body. When everything is in right alignment and working properly as it should, we become reinvigorated.
It is not only possible, but very probable that we will get figuratively beaten down in this world as God’s people. In order to keep pressing toward the finish line and maintain progress and perspective we need to make sure our lives are in proper alignment spiritually. When we are not in proper alignment it creates a drag upon us and drains us of our spiritual energy and fortitude.
What is it at this time that needs realigned, restored, or even healed in your life? No one is better at realignment, restoration, or healing than our God! “The Lord is near the broken-hearted; He delivers those who are discouraged’ (Psalm 34:18). “I dwell in an exalted and holy place, but also with the discouraged and crushed in spirit, in order to cheer up the humiliated and to encourage the discouraged.” (Isaiah 57:15). “A crushed reed He will not break, a dim wick He will not extinguish” (Isaiah 42:3).
God is such a tenderhearted, loving, caring, and compassionate healer of our soul and spirit, mind, and body. Allow Him to strengthen, realign, and heal you today. He wants you to finish strong. Those who have gone ahead of you want you to finish strong. Your brothers and sisters in Christ now want you to finish strong. The church needs you running. The world needs your influence. Be strengthened so you can stay in the race!