though I may be weary
there's a cloud of witnesses
that's cheering me on
This is a chorus that came out in the prayer room last week. And the more we sang it, the more that it seemed to sink into our hearts as the truth of God's Word penetrated the weary areas with refreshing and strength.
Since we sang this chorus, I've been thinking about Hebrews 12:1 where this chorus is based out of:
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"- Hebrews 12:1
I'm not a Greek scholar by any means, but as I was reading through commentaries and articles on this passage, apparently the Greek word for "cloud" doesn't just mean some mystical place where old disciples and angels hang around playing harps on clouds, but it actually is a sports reference.
Now when I found this out, I can't say that I was completely thrilled. I mean, by no means, am I a huge sports fan- mainly due to my lack of ability in the whole area. But "clouds" in Greek can refer to the highest seats in a stadium or arena. Apparently in ancient times, the seats we call "nose bleeds" were referred to as up in the "clouds." So the cloud of witnesses then, is the top seats in the arena where individuals who have passed on are eagerly watching us and cheering us on as though we were in a sports competition.
Think about it- multitudes of believers who have passed on are rallying behind us watching our every move as we press on in our walk with Christ. Those who know how difficult the human journey is and yet have accomplished great feats of faith are now our greatest cheerleaders (well- second of course to Jesus Himself)!
In fact, I think when the witnesses look at us in our lives, I don't think they're so much as disappointed by all of our shortcomings, but are more likely jealous that we get to live in a moment of history after the Cross, after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in a season where the Lord is continually pouring out increased revelation and is strengthening His Bride in preparation for the most victorious time for the Church- the generation in which the Lord returns. I think that they are looking at our assignments, our callings, and our lives with great zeal and a tinge of envy that they didn't have access to all that we have access to now! Think about crazy some fans get at a football game- now imagine the greater excitement over our lives in heaven!
On the difficult days, the Holy Spirit is trying to emphasize that if they could do it, so can we! It is possible to live out this life with the Lord! It's possible to become an extravagant lover of Jesus and to have great faith like the heroes of old!