Monday, January 29, 2018
Psalms 140:6-8 O LORD, I say to you, “You are my God.” Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy. O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle—do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD; do not let their plans succeed, or they will become proud.
There are times when it seems like the wicked will win. The ravaging effects of sin on our world and the people living in it bring us to our knees. That is a great place to be if we are there to pray, but for many it is a not a place of faith but rather the final fall into the realm of hopeless quitters.
It’s easy to feel like quitting sometimes. Pressures seem to mount from circumstances, and if each one is not dealt with individually their combined weight can become too much to bear. The plans of the proud begin to capitalize our attention and activity, which results in the proud becoming prouder and demanding even more from us. It seems sometimes that we don’t have any more to give. It is especially hard to keep going and giving when our friends turn out to be the proud ones and their plans sap our energy and desires. Our eyes shift from the finish line to the sidelines, and soon we have left the race and collapsed on the grass with no desire to return.
I am so thankful for a poem I found on a website that is used to encourage those who are experiencing extreme difficulties in their lives. I want to share it today with those of you who feel like quitting.
I was running the race of life, and the wind was at my back;
There was never a fairer day to run, never a smoother track.
I ran with careless ease.
I would run this race,
I would win first place,
So my Master I would please.
Then an unforeseen hand rudely pushed me down,
and I fell with a thud to the cold, cruel ground;
and broken and bruised, I began to cry
as the other runners all passed me by.
Lord, help me please! I can’t run anymore;
I’m broken and battered, I’m tired and sore;
I don’t think I can make it, I just want to die,
I don’t even have what it takes to try.
And as I lay bleeding upon the ground,
a vast cloud of witnesses gathered around.
There were heroes of old, all the saints of the ages,
who through weakness were strong and through faith made courageous.
They started to cheer and wildly applaud,
and their voices rose up giving glory to God.
And then to myself I said, How can this be?
For the saints of the ages were cheering for me!
Then Abel cried out, “There is power in the blood!”
And Noah said, “He’ll keep you safe through the flood”
Then Jacob said, “Weary one, lean on the Lord”
And Moses cried out, “Child, Look to the reward!”
Then Sarah stepped forward, holding Abraham’s hand,
and they both said, “Trust God when you don’t understand.”
In God’s promises, child, you must always believe,
for sometimes He’ll do things you just can’t conceive.
Come on! You can do it! Get up off you face
and run with endurance the rest of the race.
And remember, my child, when your strength is all gone,
the saints of the ages are cheering you on!
So, I rose to my feet midst their thunderous ovation
and started to run with great determination;
and that’s when I saw Him, My Savior and Lord,
and I knew in my heart I must win the reward
to cast down before Him the crown that I won,
and to hear Him say to me, “Well done, child, well done!”
Author, Janice Rogers Edmiston
When it seems like too big a task to switch your eyes from the comfort of the grass back to the finish line of the race, then might I suggest you at least look at the bleachers. Thousands have run the race of life before you, and done it with enduring faith. The testimony of how they did it serves as the motivation for us to get back into the race and finish strong. If you need to read a synopsis of their race, read Hebrews 11.
Come on! You can do it! Run to the arms of Jesus. He is your strong Deliverer.