In 2013 Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage.  That, in and of itself, is pretty amazing.  But if you haven't heard the story of Diana Nyad, then what you don't know is that this was her 5th attempt to try this.  Even more amazing...she was 64 years old!  She had tried for 35 years to cross that gauntlet, but she knew what her goal was and she was determined to reach it.  One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Hebrews 12.  When I was going through one of the hardest periods of my life, I memorized that passage.  You should read the whole chapter, but I want you to read verses 1-4 below:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.  Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.  After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin."

I love how the writer of Hebrews paints the picture of this life being a race.  What I love even more is the wording here of "Jesus the champion."  You see, Jesus finished the race of life, and He stands at the finish line cheering us on to finish well and to keep our eyes on Him.  We're in some crazy times right now.  With a global health crisis, many facing unemployment, and just trying to navigate a situation which many of us have never faced before, I believe it's the word "endurance" that should keep us motivated as believers.  The way we run the race with endurance is by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion.  When I read this, I imagine running across a scary bridge with flames below and Jesus standing at the end of the bridge saying, "KEEP YOUR EYES ON ME!  DON'T LOOK AROUND YOU OR BELOW YOU...EYES ON ME!!"  It's so easy to get caught up in the panic and the fear of all that's going on around us and what might happen.  But to do this is to look to the right and to the left.  We need to keep our eyes locked on Jesus.  After all, he endured more than any of us could ever imagine, and when we think of that, it gives us hope to endure.  Just as Diana Nyad did, we need to keep our eyes on the goal...to finish the race well!  This is a time for the Church to shine in the darkness because we have a hope that the world does not have.  We have Jesus, the champion.  Let's endure this race together, Evergreen. 


Neil Horlock - March 19th, 2020 at 4:53pm

Thanks Zach!

Jan Shumaker - March 19th, 2020 at 5:01pm

This is helpful for me and timely as the Truth of His Word is working an eternal weight of glory in our lives.

Zach dietz - March 19th, 2020 at 7:59pm

Amen, Jan!

Janet Coffman - March 19th, 2020 at 5:02pm

Good word!

Connie - March 19th, 2020 at 5:05pm

Thank you!

Kim Earp - March 19th, 2020 at 5:16pm

Great encouragement!! Thank you Zach!

Linda Voris - March 19th, 2020 at 5:31pm


Carleen Gollahon - March 19th, 2020 at 7:20pm

Thanks for your message. It's so easy to take my eyes off of Jesus during this difficult time. I needed to read your words and take them to heart. Eyes off corona...eyes on Jesus and what steps He wants me to follow for His honor and glory. Blessings to all. My husband and I have only visited the church twice. We look forward to meeting once again with everyone after this virus passes.

Zach dietz - March 19th, 2020 at 7:41pm

Carleen, thank you for your comment! Would love to meet you guys when we all come back together after things calm down!

Pat Edmondson - March 19th, 2020 at 7:28pm

Hi Zach. Thank you for the upbeat and hopeful devotion. I picture being a horse with blinders on looking at Jesus to help me finish !

Be safe and well.

Love, Pat E

Zach dietz - March 19th, 2020 at 7:39pm

I love that picture, Pat! Thanks!

Christina Citty - March 19th, 2020 at 7:42pm

Thank you Zach! Staying focused on His promises! Such a difficult time for so many right now.

Zach dietz - March 19th, 2020 at 7:52pm

Amen Christina! And no doubt!

Don Carrington - March 19th, 2020 at 7:44pm

Thank you Zach for sharing the profound wisdom from God’s Word. I am so encouraged to see His wisdom in you. What an incredible gift from God you have been given. I love you, my brother.

Zach dietz - March 19th, 2020 at 7:53pm

Love you, Don! Thanks!

Lindsey Dail - March 19th, 2020 at 9:52pm

I love this! Such a great reminder 😊