Today was my first in the pool, and I am totally stoked about it! Rick's message was right on target this morning when he encouraged us all to, "finish strong". And I can say that even with an injury (two actually), the reality is I am still in this and no matter what comes, I will endure until the end. God is so faithful and through the ups and downs, he has shown me that while everyone has the same calling, there are many vehicles he can use to help us journey along with him. My race may look very different than it did in the beginning right now, but the results will be no less life changing, and no less of a testimony of overcoming and transformation.
Do you see that in your own journey? How much does where you're at today look like you expected when we were still at the starting line? Are you surprised? Are you pleased with the result to date? are you motivated to go all in for the last few laps right up until the very end? Are you convinced beyond any doubt that you have been equipped to maintain a healthy way of live from this day forward, well beyond October 16th? I sure am and I look forward with eager anticipation of what is to come. From my perspective, which is from a vantage point way above the clouds in the sky as I venture around the universe with our Mighty Father, there is no mountain too high, no challenge too great, nor any enemy that will ever be strong enough to take me off course. The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable, and when we choose to embrace them and step into it by faith, he promises that his grace is sufficient and he equips us to triumph no matter what.
During Frank's talk yesterday, I was both stunned that he (and Ashley) had experienced criticisms and words of death (Proverbs 18:21), I was encouraged in my spirit because God was reminding me that in Christ, we now live to please him and not seek the praise of men. And the only thing my bible says that pleases God is faith. Others may not understand the journey we're on or what is driving us, but in our testimony is the revelation that God is good. What I know about that is that it is God's goodness that draws men to repent, to change their mind and turn to follow him. We are carrying his torch, his fire, his message of the Good News that the opportunity for a life that is way more abundant and overflowing than anything we ever could have asked for or even imagined, and in our response to the critics, the fragrance of Christ shall be wafted about in a gentle but firm and loving manner.
As for me, I am going to run my race and finish strong. While it may not necessarily look like "running" to some, I know that my God will be cheering me on and I will hear those words we all long to hear: "Well done, my good and faithful servant"!
Funny, as I was writing that last sentence, the song that came on in my headphones starts off with the words: "I will run. I will run this race. And I will do it all for love. You love compels me forward."
I encourage you to take a listen.
Homeward Bound by Kristene Dimarco (Mueller).