Some of you may remember an Olympian named Derek Redmond. You won’t remember him for winning the 400 meter during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. What you will remember is desire to finish, despite the excruciating pain he experienced from a “snapped hamstring.”
I’ll go grab a cup of coffee while you watch this incredible feat (2min). Don’t worry, I’ll be back by the time you’re done; you may want to grab a tissue…
Wow…doesn’t that get you right smack dab in the middle of your heart?!
This finely tuned athlete, trained for years for this chance to take home the gold for his country; breaking a few records along the way. Pardon the pun, but he was a shoe-in for the gold, it was simply assumed he would leave everyone in the dust.
That’s not what happened.
What happened is an incredible example of perseverance. Less than half way through the race, his hamstring snapped…the muscle completely pulled away from his bone.
He thought he had been shot…that’s how intense the pain was. Derek stopped in the middle of his lane. Forgetting where he was for a moment, he simply crouched down in agony.
Then he remembered. I am at the Olympics and I have a race to finish! Pushing himself up on his good leg, he moved forward.
His father, Jim, burst through the line of security to where his son strove to hobble the remaining 250 meters.
Once at his side, His father told Derek he did not have to finish the race. Jim gave his son permission to stop, to quit, there was no need for him to keep going.
Derek simply had to finish.
Waving off others who would try and interfere with his son and his goal, Jim carried Derek across the finish line.
The men and women in the stands didn’t notice at first the events happening in Lane 5. But by the time Derek and his father crossed the finish line, all 65,000 people from all over the world, were out of their seats, cheering Derek on…
Know where I’m going with this? Good. Check out this Bible verse while I sip my coffee.
As Children of God, we strive to, “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
We train hard.
Learning more and more about God our Father and His expectations. Expectations intended to help us live life to the fullest; offering us a guide, protection, and to show us when we’ve gone astray.
We spend time with Him, learning how to live our lives out loud for Christ. Exuding His mercy, love, and compassion to those around us.
Our faith muscles are stretched and strengthened.
Despite all of our hard work and desire to “persevere.” Things don’t go the way we think it should…
Or even the way we thought it would…
Sometimes life plain-ole-stinks and it’s not our fault.
Our parents get divorced.
An illness threatens to claim our life…or the life of a loved one.
We are betrayed by someone we once trusted.
The marriage we tried so desperately to save ends.
We fight back feelings of worthlessness because we feel unlovable.
Try and fail to fit into our fave jeans from last year.
Sometimes life stinks as a result of our own choices, our own sin…
Regardless of the cause. Regardless of how sin has entangled our lives.
God will break through the crowd to be at our side, nothing will keep Him from us.
At times, He will give us a choice. Stop where we are…or keep going. Finish the race marked out for us.
God will carry you through.
You may not come in first.
But you are surrounded by your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and all the company of heaven.
And He will carry you across that finish line.