Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Christian Life & Suffering: Finish the Race

{When running the race feels more like walking with a limp.}

I run (okay, fine, I walk) the same 3 mile route every time I exercise. I have a bad hip, and I can tell you exactly when my hip will start bothering me. But I press on because I can also tell how far I have to go before the journey is over. Then I’m home, I can put my feet up, take some Aleve, and feel good again.

If only suffering and the Christian life were the same. If only we knew the exact distance we had to go before the journey of suffering were over. But we don’t.

If the Christian life is running the race, let’s face it . . . somedays it’s just.plain.hard. Your hip hurts, it’s too hot outside, you're dehydrated, you’re lonely, etc.

The friend who prayerfully waits for a spouse has no idea how long she’ll have to wait.
The wife who longs for baby has no idea how much longer until God to opens her womb.
The man who seeks relief from a stressful job has no idea how long he’ll have endure.
The widow who is still alone after 10 years has no idea how much longer until the loneliness lifts.
The friends who lost their baby have no idea how much time will pass between heaven and earth to hold him again.

But that’s the thing . . . we can’t just give up. We can’t stop, we can’t stand still and just “wait”. Scripture tells us to run. Keep moving . . . keep pursuing. . . press on toward the goal.

When my body aches I can’t just sit on the corner of the street and call it day. I have to push through the pain to get back home. Even if it means limping the rest of the way home.

And that’s just it. Sometimes the Christian life is learning to walk with a limp. It may not be easy, you may not be the fastest, but you’re continuing on. We don’t know how long until we’re home, we don’t know if the weather will heat up or cool down, we just have to keep going.

We may not be the first to cross the finish line, or be in the best shape, but that’s okay. Keep going. Keep running. Keep walking. Keep limping.

Because let’s face it. Which story is more inspiring? Usain Bolt that fastest man in the world who wins the gold because of his own strength and training?

Or Oscar Pistorius, the man with prostethetic legs who trains and runs the race anyway?

He probably won’t win, he may even finish last, but His perseverance is inspiring.

I don’t care what “place” I come in, I just want to finish the race. I may be limping now, but I’ll press on.

*PS For those of you who are sprinters . . . those of you who are strong, who are healthy,who’ve got it going on, if you don’t mind slowing down to run along side us who are limping, that would be great. We could use the encouragement, the friendship, and the extra hand.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

1 comment:

  1. I really loved this post. Thank you for sharing!