of those who shrink
back and are destroyed,
but of those
who have faith
and preserve their souls.
The summer heat tried to beat the life out of Gabriela Andersen-Schiess of Switzerland. Having run 26 miles in the 1984 Olympics she fell 400 meters short of the finish line. There was certainty among those who watched the runners navigate their way into the Los Angeles Coliseum that Gabriela’s race was over. To the stunned crowd, however, Gabriela proved that she was made of tougher stuff. Crawling forward, waving away all attempts to help her, Gabriela crossed the finish line. There were six runners who had quit long before.
Jesus was made of tougher stuff. From the beginning, when the Holy Spirit drives him out to the desert, Jesus demonstrates what it means to not shrink back. At every turn the religious order "heat" was continually turning up the temperature in its attempts to beat him down. Even at the point of his falling under the burden of his destruction he continues to the finish.
If we are following Jesus, we also will feel the intensity of religious "heat." Throughout our spiritual race there will be those who question our commitment to Biblical truth and along with hardships and adversities we'll find ourselves doing a face plant. It will be at these times, when having fallen, that all we can do is to keep crawling forward. Being prepared for these moments is essential. Jesus lived a life that proved finishing is possible. Moving forward, no matter the position, will ultimately give us life. To shrink back, quiting short of the finish line, is certain destruction.
Jesus, your life proves
that hardships are a part of living.
Thank you for never shrinking
back from the finish.
Help me, no matter the position,
to keep moving forward to life with You.