You might be asking yourself,“Why has this guy been talking about a king from the Old Testament, this is an old story!” In response, I say we learn through others: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”- George Santayana
Many people’s stories in the Old Testament, whether negative or positive have made a significant effect on my “life’s race” (I will talk more about “life’s race” later). Take Job, I have been reading of his discussions with his friends (or should I say arguments). He was going through it, so he turned to his friends for some empathy, and what he got was judgment! He said they didn’t know what they were talking about:
I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.-Job 16:4-5
I don’t think Job’s friends meant to be negative but, seeing in the natural they presume there must be a reason for Job’s problems, they didn’t understand it was a test from God. Through Job, like other books of the Old Testament, I have learned how to deal with “life’s race”.
I have always thought of life as a race! Not a sprint, where it is over quickly; although, I have always wished life was so easy, I found life, as a Christian, is more like a marathon. Webster’s definition of marathon can help you understand my point:
1: a long-distance race:
a: a footrace run on an open course usually of 26 miles 385 yards (42.2 kilometers)
b: a race other than a footrace marked especially by great length
a: an endurance contest
b: something (as an event, activity, or session) characterized by great length or concentrated effort.
Let me tell you about my experience with running and how it reminds me of how to serve God. When, I attended Oral Roberts University, back in the nineties, physical ed. was required, so I took a running class. I was a little overweight (LOL!), so you might think, running wouldn’t be a quite good pick for someone of my proportion! To my physical education instructor’s surprise, I was a good a runner; she didn’t realize I used my mind and willed myself to finish the run in a fast time.
I remember, with each stride, my body would say, “Just quite; it’s not worth it,” and I would tell my body, “we are almost done!” Okay, now that I have repeated my conversation with myself; I feel a little silly, but sometimes you have to let your body know who’s boss 😉 !
Like I use to talk to my body, not to rely on how it felt, to finish my run. You need to talk to your flesh (body) and say, “I don’t care how you feel; I am going to live for God!” The apostle Paul said in Acts 20:23-24:
23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
2 Timothy 4:7
New International Version (NIV)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith