Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
This past Saturday Vicki and I went over to Amarillo to watch Amayah run in a track meet. Now before I get carried away, let me remind you that Amayah will turn 9 years old in May. Because of that I didn’t know what to expect at this track meet.
I will tell you that they all did an awesome job. It was really fun to watch and see how well they did. No, it wasn’t up to high school standards, but these kids did great in listening to their coaches and then going out on the track and doing what needed to be done.
The girls on Amayah’s team ran the best that they could. Amayah has these long legs and used them to run as best as she could. Chasity (and Memaw) would yell at her to run hard. Memaw even told her to run like she was trying to get away from Papa spanking her!
Each time Amayah ran she would stretch out her stride and run really fast. Regardless of whether she or one of the other girls was running the entire 220 yards or a shorter distance, they would run as fast as they could. They didn’t win it all, but they sure gave it their best.
On the way home I was thinking about what all had taken place. It was really amazing at how well the girls did in running and passing the baton. I was really glad I went. Then I started thinking about another race. The race we call life.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:24 – “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” Paul wanted the Corinthians to remember that not everyone would win the prize but they were to run as hard as they could so that they might win the race they were running.
In Hebrews 11:4-38 we find those that ‘ran their race’ by faith. From Abel to Gideon, Samson, David, Samuel and the prophets as well as others, men and women, who were mocked, scourged, placed in chains, imprisoned, stoned, sawn in two, put to death with the sword, afflicted and ill-treated. Each of them ‘ran their race’ for the God they served.
Then in Hebrews 12:1-2 it says – 1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus ran His race in this life. He did it knowing that the end would bring joy not only to Him and the Father, but to all who run the race of life, call upon his name and are saved. He is our example of how we are to run the race that is set before us. His stride was exactly what was needed as He ran the race in this life.
Our race won’t be easy. After one race I told Amayah to put her arms up and breathe deep since she was short of breath, there will be times when we will be ‘winded’ in the race of life. Yet if we fix our eyes on Jesus, we will find that we have the strength to run the race that is set before us.
I also told Amayah that the race may not be easy, but when you give it your best and do what your coach tells you do, it will be good. The race of life may not be easy, but when we to do our best and follow God, He will help us run our race.
JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, there IS something about that name!!
Christ only, always,
Brother Paul Nachtigall is the preacher at Highland Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.