Scripture often refers to our life on earth as a race. The verse "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" II Thessalonians 4:7 indicates that life is not going to be simple walk in the park. Hebrews 12:1clearly warns us that patience and perseverance will be required of us...... "and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." In I Timothy 6:12 we are told again to "fight a good fight." In Hebrew 3"If we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end," then we shall obtain the rewards." There is an end in sight, there is hope. All of the sweat and tears that we pour out will be well worth it if we do not give up.
In watching my girls run this weekend, I was continually reminded of the race that we are all on. As a parent spectator, it is painful to watch them running. They patiently ran lap after lap around the track, staying right with the other runners. There are many runners, all of them putting forth everything that they have, all of them working toward the goal, all of them hoping for a medal around their neck. My focus from the stands is on one runner, my daughter. From my place I can see when the weariness sets in. I know that my daughter is struggling against exhaustion.I can tell by the look on her face, the way she carries her body, and every once in a while, a faltering step. I can almost see the mental battle that takes place in her mind. I know that it would be so much easier to give up. But she doesn't, she keeps pressing on. Despite the heat, the tiredness, the aching muscles and mental anguish. She has worked hard, she has trained and disciplined herself and she will not give up now. Both girls had the honor of having a medal placed around their neck. They fought a good fight.
There are many diffrerent races in track, all at different distances. Some races are short and very fast, a sprint. While others, like those my girls run, are longer distances. The decision of who runs what race is ultimatley up to the coaches, based on each runner's abilities. In the race of life, our great sovereign God determines what race to enter each of us in. God entered my precious Laynee Grace in a sprint. He took all of her energy and joy and packed it into 2.5 short years. She tackled life at break neck speed and she won. She has earned her reward. For those whom God enters into the longer races, we often face times of sheer and utter exhaustion. We keep pressing on but we are tired, so very tired. Sometimes we run, sometimes we walk and then there are times when we can't stand up, we must crawl. We keep going, no matter how much we'd like to give up because we know that at the end of our race is the greatest reward of all, Heaven. Jamee and Jade have commented how sometimes they envy the sprinters because they get in the starting blocks, the gun is fired and in a few short seconds their race is finished. Likewise, sometimes we envy Laynee who danced all the way through her race and now has her great reward. Our race is longer than Laynee's we keep fighting the fight, knowing that our prize will be far greater than a medal around the neck
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all,
but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I Corinthians 9:24-25