While the world is striving to attain perfection, I realize the only perfect One took my place, as a perfect sacrifice, on a cross. Through Him my weaknesses are made strong. I'm not afraid to be different, because I AM different. I'm a child of The Most High. I can be imperfect because I am loved by a Perfect God.

Praying for Direction. Lift by Prayer. Working for Peace. Labor by Power. Driven by Love. Love by Patience. Living by Faith. Live by Presence. Held by Hope. Learn by Faith.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Relentless Pursuit of a Promise

Well, it's been almost 2 months since I've written! Sorry, it's been a super hectic summer.

I officially have a second job. Teaching... High Schoolers. It's been an absolute joy! My students always bring a smile to my face.  In fact they're away at camp this week, and I'm missing them terribly!

I just want to write a little thought I had, I hope it impacts someone as much as it has touched my heart.

The other day I was at the gym.  I've started a new training routine, it mainly focuses on running.  Anyway I was running and I glanced down at the timer, 3 minutes to go.

"keep running, keep running"

glance down at the time............ 2:30.

"Are you serious?! It's only been 30 seconds?! I've already seen 3 commercials on the TV! Let me just keep on pushing"

glance down at the time..........2:15

"This is taking forever!! Why is time passing so slowly?"

time check...... 2:00

"ok. I'm going to stop looking at the timer. I've got to just push through the pain. Focus on the ending. I'm almost there! Keep running!"

time check......1:00

"Alright. I give up. I'm admitting defeat. I feel like I'm dying!! There's no way I can run for a whole minute longer!! I'll just work on that next time........WAIT. Did Israel just come on in my ipod??

suddenly my feet are moving to the beat of the music my mind is on the words. 

I just ran 5 minutes longer than my timer.

The writer of Hebrews says "let us run with patience the race that is set before us"

I think it's interesting that he chose to use the word patience. Running a race takes time.  It doesn't just happen in a few seconds.  In fact, even if you make up your mind to run, there's a little more than that.

A race takes training, building up stamina.  It's not about being first.  It's about having the endearance to finish.

The NLT of Ecclesiastes 9:11 says "I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.

I love this scripture. It fits so well with Matthew 5:45.  Good things happen to bad people, and likewise, bad things happen to good people.

If the fastest runner doesn't win the race, who does?
If the strongest warrior doesn't win the battle, who does?

the runner who doesn't  stop running is who wins the race.

the warrior who doesn't give up when the battle doesn't look so good is who comes out victorious.

The physical race is no different from the spiritual. Maybe it's hard to pray for 15 minutes. Have patience, keep pressing. Suddenly you realize, you just spent two hours lost in the Spirit, and time flew by.

I used to say "My goal is to make heaven and bring as many people with me." I can't actually take people to heaven, but I can encourage them to keep running the race. I can push them. I can rejoice with their victories. If Heaven can rejoice over one sinner, then I can rejoice with them!

The Message translation of Hebrews 12:1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Jesus is our ultimate goal! When we grow tired, what is our weariness compared to His sufferings. What is our suffering compared to that of those we don't reach in time?!

Imagine for a moment: You're running a race. There are crowds of people lining the streets cheering for you! You come upon a runner struggling, limping along. Oh, how he is struggling! You help him out until he gets his strength back. You glance in the crowd and there's Paul, cheering that you helped someone! You keep running, suddenly you trip and fall. Your mind races...oh the embarrassment! How easy it would be to just walk away, blend in to the crowd. But you look over, there's David. His face is so hopeful!  He's pleading for you to just get up! Come on! You have the strength! Finally, you're back up and running. It hasn't been long, and people are trying to distract you from your race! You haven't even finished and they want you to come with them. Suddenly, straight ahead, you see Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They're encouraging you to stick to your course. To keep running. You've run too far to still be the same! Listen, the crowd is sending up a roar, people are following you! They're running with you, your pace is influencing others. There's Abraham and even Daniel. In the distance you can even see Zaccaeus, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, Esther. These great people of old are rejoicing in your persistence. Finally, you see the finish line. You run, encouraged by the exuberance of the crowd. You cross the finish line, having finished your race. Jesus looks at  you and says "Well done my good and faithful servant."

Spending eternity with your Creator and Savior, joining in with the Saints of Old in the Hosanna Song, Dancing on the Streets of Gold. It was worth all the sweat, blood, every long mile, every heartache, every trial, every tear.

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