I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14 NLT
At different times, I've taken up running. There are parts of running I really enjoy, for example, the number of calories I can burn in a short time. I especially relished the camaraderie of the races, hanging out with friends, old and new, before and after the race. But frankly, the thing I enjoyed most was that last quarter mile when I could see the finish line and the cheering crowd.
This race of life isn't easy; we must slow down for an incline and feel out of control on the decline. In addition, there are tripping hazards of uneven ground, exposed roots, and loose stone. There is also fatigue, aches, and soreness. All these things can cause us to lose focus and break our stride. Sometimes, we may feel like quitting.
In those times of distraction and discouragement, we have the Holy Spirit to strengthen us. We have our church families and friends on the sidelines offering encouragement. The race may be long, but in Christ, we have the assurance that no matter the length, he is beside us. When we step over the finish line, rejoicing, it is with him by our side and all the saints welcoming us.
Gracious and merciful Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Through them, we find the strength and encouragement needed to run this early race. We look forward to the eventual day when our race is run, and we are united with you in heaven, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.