What battle are you facing? What race are you striving to finish? Do you feel stuck? Are you on the verge of quitting or are you determined to finish strong despite the challenges?
A story is told of an athlete – Derek Redmond who participated in a 400-meter race in 1992. Just about 250 meters away from the finish line, his hamstring tore, causing him to fall to the ground in pain. Just as the stretcher bearers made their way towards him, he knew he had to make a choice: continue the race in spite of the pain or allow himself to be carried out. But despite the pain, he got up and began to hobble along the track. Just as he hobbled, a man pushed through the crowds, fighting back security. It was his father. He made his way to his son saying, “you don’t have to do this.” But his weeping son replied, “Yes, I do.” “Well then, we’re going to finish this together,” his father replied.
The father wrapped his arms around his son and helped him hobble through the track. Shortly before the finish line, his dad let go of him and the man completed the race with a standing ovation of 65,000.
Now, Derek Redmond may not have finished first place, but he managed to finish his race! Despite the pain, despite the tears, he was determined to give it his all; motivated by a love so strong of a father who picks him up when he falls.
What made his father do that? To leave his sitting place to meet his son on the tracks? It was the pain on his child’s face. He was disturbed by the hurt on his son’s face. He knew his son wanted to finish the race so he came to help him finish.
God is like that; when we’re hurt and fighting to finish, he comes and helps us.
Everyone has a race to run. Are you facing difficulties in yours? Are you in pain? Are you determined to finish despite the challenges? Or are you on the verge of quitting? Isaiah 41:10 says, “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.” And verse 13 says, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.”
Are you determined to finish strong? Are you like Derek Redmond who was focused on finishing? It didn’t matter what place he got; whether he was first or last; all that mattered was that he finished. As long as he crossed the finish line; as long as he fought his way through; as long as he had his dad by his side, nothing else mattered. What’s your own story? What’s your excuse for wanting to give up? You’ve got Jesus by your side. That’s all that matters. Be determined to finish strong no matter what; don’t let the pain, tears, disappointments, heartaches, and losses hold you down. Fight your way through it. And the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone – you’ve got Jesus. God wants you to finish strong because He loves you.
And so what if you fall? God loves you so much and He’s willing to pick you up after each fall. Will you trust him enough to carry you through to the finish line?