Finishing The Race

Finishing The Race
Max Lucado
SCRIPTURE  Psalm 137:1-138:8

SITUATION  During the Babylon captivity, the Israelites mourned for their lost land.

OBSERVATION  In times of trouble it is easy to wonder if God hears us.  God does hear our prayers and he carries us through the difficulties.

INSPIRATION    Since God is more moved by our hurt than our eloquence, he respond(s).  That's what Fathers do.

That's exactly what Jim Redmond did.

His son Derek, a twenty-six year old Briton, was favored to win the four-hundred meter race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  Halfway into this semifinal heat, a fiery pain seared though his right leg.  He crumpled to the track with a torn-hamstring.

As the medical attendants were approaching, Redmond fought to his feet.  "it was animal instinct," he would later say.  He set out hopping pushing away the coaches in a crazed attempt to finish the race.

When he reached the stretch,  a big man pushed through the crowd.  He was wearing a t-shirt that read "Have you hugged your child today?"  and  a hat that challenged "Just Do It."  The mas was Jim Redmond.  Derek's father.

"You don't have to do this," he told his weeping son.

"Yes, I do." Derek declared.

"Well then," said Jim "we're going to finish this together."

And they did.  Jim wrapped Derek's arm around his should and helped him hobble to the finish line.  Fighting off security men, the son's head sometimes buried in the father's shoulder, they stayed on Derek's lane to the end.

The crowd clapped, then stood, then cheered, and they wept as the father and the son finished the race.

What made the father do it?  What made the father leave the stands to meet his son on the track?  Was it the strength of his child?  No.  It was the pain of his child.  His son was hurt and fighting to complete the race.  So the Father came to help him finish.

God does the same.   Our prayers may be awkward.  Our attempts may be feeble.  But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.  (From He Still Moves Stones by Max Lucado)

APPLICATION   God wants us to pray to him without getting bogged down in proper words and phrases. Forget the fancy words and eloquent phrases.  Don't get caught up using the right prayer words.  Pour out your joys, fears,  concerns, and requests.  He hears and will aid and comfort you.

The Devotional Bible, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, Thomas Nelson Publishers.


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