The Final Stretch

 “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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

Run_With_Perseverance

There are 8 days of class and 5 final exams that stand between me and summer.  Let’s be real, you know I’m counting down at this point.  It has come to that point in the semester many call, “The Final Stretch.”  It’s the time when the weather gets nicer, but our summer adventures are just out of reach, the stress level is reaching it’s climax, and the professor’s prayer before class usually involves asking God to give us students endurance to finish strong.

I have a choice to make.  I can throw in the towel now, half-halfheartedly finish my projects, maybe take some extra naps, and skim my notes before finals.  My bed at home and stocked fridge are calling my name.  OR… I can realize that the very power that God used to raise His Son from the dead is available to ME.  Take a minute to let that sink in.  He is the only one in history who got that whole resurrection thing down, and He wants to offer me some of that power.  He wants to carry me through these difficult tasks and see me bring glory to Him.  He will knock me on my butt a little, but only so I will take His hand to help me up.

He will go to the ends of the Earth to see that His children see the other side of their trials.  Everyone is in their own lane in this race and we all have struggles.  I’ve already posted about the waste of time it is to feel guilty that my struggles are perhaps insignificant compared to many people in this world.  Read about it here!  Many of the kids in Romania face adversity that no one should have to.  But I believe that God is working in them and through them. They may not even see the reward in this life, but I know God will finish what he started in them.

I’m not saying it will be easy.  God does not make me invincible or exempt me from my finals.  My first thought is human, it is sinful, and there is nothing I can do about it.  I have and will wake up sometimes thinking, “I am not interested in leaving this bed.”  It is so hard to treat every day like the gift that it is. To be diligent in my studies and to keep reading, and reading, and reading…(not my favorite thing to do.)   But I believe that God has the power to change my attitude if I ask Him to.  If I tell Him I want to excel, that I can’t do it on my own,  and that I need Him, I believe He will carry me–even drag me–to the finish line.

While I can’t fully wrap my mind around it, I know that the victory God has in store for His children is sweeter than any victory we could ever imagine.  Those who run His race, no matter where we are on Earth–Romania, Grove City, Africa–can look forward to enjoying the party together at the finish line, finally in perfect community with our Maker.  What a celebration that will be!

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