I am not a runner. I have never entered a marathon with aspirations to win the race. However, I am in a race. As a Christian I became a long distance runner from the moment I became a believer. I am sure I had no idea on June 10, 1970 when Jesus snatched me out of my captivity that I was preparing for a long-term race for an eternal prize. Now after forty-seven years I am aware that I have a prize waiting for me when this earthly race is over. I want to finish my race well.
Unfortunately, there is are many things that occur in our lives as we are racing toward our prize that can take us out of the race. The enemy of our soul surely wants us to fail! He takes great pleasure when a Christian throws their hands up in the air and declares “I just can’t do this, it is too hard.” But remember he is a liar. He is the father of lies and truth is not in him. So you have a choice you can be a quitter or you can buck up, lace up your shoes and keep running.
There have been times in my own life since becoming a Christian that have offered me opportunity to quit but I could not throw in the towel. Jesus invested too much for me to turn and run the other way. I have had heartache, I suffered from a tremendously crippling spirit of rejection for some years, loss of family relationships, seen my husband lose jobs, watched a son stray from truth he was taught, seen a son struggle to find success in the workplace. I could add more to the list but I prefer to boast in the Lord that He has strengthened me in every circumstance.
I am sure you have things you can share that nearly sidelined you but you are still here. That is a testimony. We are still here! Still in the race and have probably worn out quite a few pairs of shoes too.
I am reminded this morning of many places in scripture that we encouraged to stay strong and complete the race. Here are a few. Proverbs 24:10 “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.” Jeremiah 12:5 “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?” Galatians 6:9 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” And one of my most favorite verses Hebrews 12:1-2 “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.”
We have an example in Jesus on how to run the race. He ran His race for the prize and the prize was us! Now we have a race to run and our prize is eternity with Jesus! That is more than a fair exchange. We need not give up. Stay the course. Stay strong in the Word, guard your heart, keep the devil under your feet and practice running everyday. Keep your eyes on the prize and remember you are IN IT TO WIN IT!
Living by the brook,