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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

August 31, 2012 - Teammates

By William E. Richardson

“I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, NKJV).

In the aftermath of the London Olympics, I’m reminded of British sprinter Derek Redmond, who almost competed in the 1988 Olympics. Just before running in his competition — the 400 meters — he tore an Achilles tendon. Disappointed, he didn’t quit. He set his sites on the next Summer Games — Barcelona in 1992.

In the intervening years, Derek went through some surgeries to restore his running ability. He never lost his determination. As 1992 drew near, Derek qualified to compete. He arrived in Barcelona, prepared. Then, in the semifinal heat, the unthinkable happened: Derek suffered another injury on the track. This time he tore a hamstring.

People around the world watched that race on their television screens, seeing Derek limping and wincing in pain. We ached for him. We prayed for him. When we saw what happened next, we rejoiced with him.

Derek’s father rushed from his seat in the stands onto the track, pushing aside security officers as he went. Throwing an arm around his son, he held him and helped him finish the race one agonizing step at a time.

When Derek and his dad crossed the finish line, competition and medals no longer mattered. That Derek finished mattered. The hands-on support from his father mattered.

What an example for Christians everywhere. Sometimes, we’re the runner on the track, hurting but determined in our pain to take the next step. The Bible encourages us not to fall onto the track in defeat. Rather to stay on our feet until we reach the end (1 Corinthians 9:24).

The Heavenly Father put the wind in our sails. He comes to our aid in the guise of others when the wind is knocked out of us. God sent Elisha to Elijah. He sent Ruth to Naomi. In Paul’s lowest moments, God sent the right friends to minister to him.

At other times, we’re the person in the stands where we see another human being — sometimes part of Team Christian, sometimes not — struggling on the track. We feel their pain and spring to their aid like the Samaritan of Jesus’ famous parable.

The Book of Hebrews says to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). The size of the obstacles in our path or in ourselves doesn’t matter. Our determination to trust Jesus while keeping our eyes on the finish line does. In heaven, all who keep the faith and finish the race are gold medal winners.

— William E. Richardson is senior pastor of Afton (Iowa) Assembly of God and blogs at lights4god.com.

 

 

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