Anyone that knows me understands that I am not a runner. As the old saying goes “if you see me running you better run too cause someone is chasing me.” Actually you could probably walk quickly and still get away. I mean I “ran” (I say that loosely) the mile in 14 minutes back in 1998. Haven’t really ran since..scarred by that moment! Instead I watch the Olympic runners in awe. The other night my family and I were huddled around cheering on one of the USA female athletes; then the unthinkable happened, she tripped and fell. We all sat in horror as she pounded her fist into the track with tears streaming down her face. The dream she had worked toward for four years was gone. I was crushed for her! There she sat alone and broken. Then we watched as this broken woman walked off the track to the sidelines scarred from the poor circumstances that sealed her Olympic fate.
After this devastating blow I would not want to get up and continue the race knowing my medal dreams are no longer a reality. Seeing them get farther and farther away from me, lost in the sadness of my broken dreams. I watched this race and it felt like I was watching real life. Often times we trip and fall spiritually. There we sit emotionally and spiritually exhausted with no hopes of winning the race, our hearts are scraped by the fall we have taken, and it seems everyone is running ahead, having left us behind. We think we are alone, left to limp to the sidelines so we leave the race before it is even finished. Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 11) had quit after they fell or continued to fall? Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Jacob...just to name a few. You see their race was consumed by trips and falls (I encourage you to read their stories). They had scraped knees and hearts. Sometimes I imagine them crying out as they fell on their knees in defeat. I am sure at that moment they wanted to “walk off the track of life”. The finish line was too distant to reach without a miracle, to daunting to get up, and so they cried; tears streaming down their dirt stained faces hindered by the lack of faith.
Yet, a miracle was about to unfold! Instead of limping off they trusted their scraped hearts and bruised knees to their father, the one who could and would clear the track and carry them to the finish line. They have beaten the enemy and finished their race. My heart is reminded of the 1992 Olympics and the story that will be told for years. A young man tore his hamstring and fell on the track. His hopes of winning lost. Yet, at that moment a miracle happened. His father watching from the sidelines heard the inward pleas of his broken little boy and came to the track to help his son, with bruised knees and a scraped heart, to the finish line! It is the most memorable moment of that Olympics. He didn’t win a gold medal or finish first but because a father loved his son enough to come to his rescue he finished the race with the crowd cheering him along. I wonder what we could accomplish for Christ if we got back up when are knees and hearts are scraped? If we allowed Him to lead, carry, or share the weight of our brokenness to the finish line? According to the hall of faith...MIRACLES and grace only seen in the aftermath of a fall. Then we would hear the cheers of our great cloud of witnesses as we run with perseverance the race marked out for us! We will beat the enemy and finish the race!
He's Big and I'm Little,