James 1:2-4 Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. (VOICE)
Long distance runners I’ve read about say that there comes a point when it seems too difficult to finish the race, but by powering through they get a “second wind” that takes
them to the finish line.
Never having been a distance runner (and never desiring to be one) I don’t know that aspect of running to be true. However, in the verses above James says the same thing concerning our spiritual journey.
I’ve been in a discouraging place lately, especially concerning my bipolar stepson. I don’t see him making any progress or doing positive things that would help him navigate his illness.
My joy was all but gone, and I felt like quitting the race.
But James tells me to persevere through these times, “as difficult as they are,” and God will help me get to the other side.
I volunteered one time at a Special Olympics event in the town where I was living. My job was to stand at the finish line and cheer on my particular runner. What fun it was, and those kids weren’t particularly disappointed if they didn’t win. They were just excited to cross the finish line and get a hug.
Guess who’s at the finish line of our race: JESUS!
When we cross that line we not only get a hug, we get a forever life with Him.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. When we stick it out, our reward is maturity, completeness, and fulfillment.
And Jesus is cheering us on at the finish line.
Keep your eyes on Him.