The road is long and narrow. The sun beats down as a lone runner crests the hill and enters the wide curve. The road stretches out before him. A white chalk line reaches across the road in front me as I stand at the finish line watching. The race has been long and difficult for him but the finish line is in sight.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” 1Cor. 9:24
The world offers so many things that can distract us from the long race ahead. Our journey with Christ is as a marathon race. We must persevere, train, stay focused, and persistently reach out for the prize at the end of our journey. If we stumble along the road Christ is there to pick us up. He is there cheering us on and giving us the strength to take yet another step down the long, narrow, and winding road. I think His angels are standing with us encouraging us, “You can make it. Don’t give up!”
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is before us.” Heb. 12:1
My husband was a runner. He ran several marathons, as well as shorter races, and we had the T-shirts to prove it! His training varied depending on the length of the race he would be entering. A marathon is 26.2 miles long. It’s grueling and the preparation seemed to never end. At times he would take a day off from the training. But he never gave up.
Don’t we feel that way at times? Don’t we get tired of all the preparation? We go to church, we pray, we reach out to others, testify, spout all the “right” things and then sit back and at times wonder if its all worth it. “Is God even hearing my prayers?” The worldly influences begin caving in all around us and like any runner we are tempted to give in, relax, take the easy road, “just this once.”
As I watch the lone runner coming closer I can see there is no sweat. His running shorts are not the ragged and worn shorts he considered his “lucky shorts” and have seen many miles. His “muscle shirt” is fresh and completely dry. His tennis shoes have no scuff marks or dangling shoe strings from pounding the pavement. They’re brand new. His hair, as in other races, isn’t plastered to his head as though he’s run through the shower. He looks fresh. He looks more alive than I’ve ever seen him before!
His focus is intense as his legs stretch out just a little bit farther as he approaches the solid white chalk line. He’s looking straight ahead as his arms reach high above his head in a sign of victory. His right foot raises high above the finish line. He’s right in front of me. He suddenly turns his head and looks straight into my eyes and says, “I made it, Sue-Sue. I crossed the finish line.”
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2Tim. 4:7
As his foot falls toward the other side of the chalk line the vision disappears. I suddenly feel the doctors hand gentle on my shoulder and he’s telling me my husband is gone.
This is a true story. The Lord blessed me with being able to see my husband finish the race he began many years before. It’s something I will never forget for it is encouragement to me to continue to put one spiritual foot in front of the other and to keep my eyes on the finish line.
I hope this has been an encouragement to you to not lose focus. Enjoy the video.
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Blessings to you.