Another New Year . . . my 76th . . . how many have you checked off?
I’ve been blessed with far more years weighted towards the positive ‘10’ end than those trending lower. However, it was in those years laced with trials, grief, failure and shame that God’s unwavering love, mercy and forgiveness became tangibly real, and grew my faith.
These thoughts came to mind as I read the words penned by king David in Ps. 137: 7-8 this morning:
Though I walk in the midst of trouble You will revive me;
You will stretch out You hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your Hand.
The truth and transparency of personal true stories speak to me, and this one, told by Max Lucado, reminds me of the God . . . my God . . . who has been with, and will be with me each step of the way through whatever ‘10’ or ‘1’ times 2018 may place on my path . . . on your path.
“Derek, a twenty-six-year-old Briton, was favored to win the four-hundred-meter race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Halfway into his semifinal heat, a fiery pain seared through his right leg. He crumpled to the track with a torn hamstring.
As the medical attendants were approaching Derek 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 kid today?”, and a hat that challenged, “Just Do It.” The man 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 shoulder 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 in Derek’s lane to the end.
The crowd clapped, then stood, and then wept as the father and 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 thing. 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 the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”
My heart’s desire is that 2018 will prove to be a prosperous, healthy and happy one we all hope for each other, and heavily weighted towards the ‘10’s. However, should onerous ‘1’s appear, my prayer is that you will remember that you’re not alone . . . He sees the pain of your trials, grief, failure and shame, and chose to leave the glory of heaven above to meet you here below on life’s oft rugged track . . . bury your head in His shoulder, and trust Him to carry you across the finish line.
Be Blessed . . . Happy New Year !!!