Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Finish Strong

Any time that I run, whether its 3 miles or 5 miles, for the last half mile or so, no matter how bad I'm feeling I push myself to finish strong - use my arms, take purposeful strides, run faster and look ahead to the finish line.

My little one currently does club track and field. She is still unsure of her events and has been experimenting with the 400 (one lap).  I'm always at the back of the field as she rounds in to the final straight away yelling, "finish strong, use your arms, move!"

I'm originally from the East coast, so I watch the Penn Relays since I can no longer go. The college women's 4x800 had a spectacular finish this year. Villanova won, but coming down the home stretch their anchor leg was in 2nd. There was literally a point where she just pushed herself - her form may have been a tad compromised, but she pushed hard and passed the 1st place runner and won. She saw in her mind's eye that she could push pass the pain.  That's how you finish strong.

There are many examples of finishing strong in the Bible - many did not start well but they were able to finish strong.  Jacob - was a deceiver who tricked Esau out of his birthright, was tricked by his future father in law, had 2 wives and loved one more than the other.  Rachel ultimately bore him Joseph and Benjamin but died in childbirth with Benjamin. Jacob loved Joseph and displayed his favoritism.  His other sons sold Joseph in to slavery and Jacob was heartbroken. On his way to reconcile with Esau, Jacob wrestled with God at Peniel and his name was changed to Israel - which means he struggled with God.  Jacob struggled with God his whole life but after Peniel he was changed: he walked with a limp and he learned to depend on God more. God had blessed Jacob in Bethel and promised him that he would be a great nation before he met Laban, so Jacob knew God. So much had happened that Jacob never thought he would see Joseph again, but God gave him a new revelation prior to being reunited with Joseph.  In Genesis 46:4  God told Jacob not to be afraid, that He will go with him to Egypt, that he will see his son, and that he will be a father of many nations. And it came to pass.

Consider the trajectory of Jacob's life; Jacob knew God, yet he didn't always obey but God in His sovereignty God never gave up on Jacob. Jacob was blessed in his old age, he saw his son, his sons and grandsons became leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel and he was buried with his people. Finishing strong requires seeing things differently - a new revelation. You are tired, you've made mistakes, you have regrets, but you know God is with you as you've made a commitment to him. You're not too damaged, God can still use you just as he did Jacob and He does not renege on His promises.

I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.” Gen 46:3-4
Finish strong.

What do you hope will be the outcome of your life? Have you received a new revelation? 

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