Have you ever watched videos of people involved in a race when things didn’t work out as planned? I’m talking about track, cross-country, or Olympic races where folks just struggled to finish the race. The winner may have crossed far ahead but these stragglers crossed the finish line limping, crawling, or leaning on someone else.
What intrigues me about individual races like these is that I find myself always rooting for these folks who just won’t give up. I keep hoping they will just go a little farther and keep trying so they can eventually finish the race. I somehow think that many of you feel as I do and find yourself cheering for these underdogs. We find ourselves celebrating the winner of the race but rejoicing for the ones who struggled but finally finished. We just want to celebrate the one who would not give up. We often admire those who struggle and finish more than those who coast to an easy victory.
Sometimes in our lives we become so focused on winning our spiritual race that we forget it is more important to finish the race. The race I’m talking about here is our life-long relationship with Christ, honoring scripture, and spreading the gospel. If we would be honest with ourselves we would know that we are not just going to coast through life with few problems, never questioning what God is teaching us, and free of difficult times. Life is tough…spiritual races are tough. In our spiritual race we might find ourselves limping to the finish but we must finish strong.
When I think of a spiritual race I think of 2 Timothy 4:7. Here is what this scripture says:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
So…how are you doing in your spiritual race? Are you remaining faithful to the cause of Christ? Are you helping others get to the finish line? Are you running a good race or are you out of breath, hunched over, and stopped along the side of the track? Maybe you even feel like giving up.
Well I have good news for you today. If you find that you are like one of those athletes trying to get to the finish line of your spiritual race but you seem to be on your hands and knees crawling your way to the finish line, I want you to remember that we have a God who is able to lift you up and support you in your race. No matter your circumstances, you are not running alone. Don’t give up! Put your trust in God to see you through to the finish line of your spiritual race.