Have you ever seen an injured runner cross the finish line? Or have you ever looked at marathon runners at the end of their race?
Sometimes due to injury or exhaustion, athletes have even crawled or drug themselves the last few steps of the race. Other times, they only cross the finish line with the help of friends, a family member, or other racers who help carry them to victory.
Can we call it a victory if the runner is so depleted at the end?
Yes, we can absolutely cheer and celebrate their victorious crossing of the finish line. Anyone can get excited about a strong and robust, chest-forward, end of a race; but there’s a special kind of triumph when the runner has nothing left and still manages to do whatever it takes to complete the course and get to the other side of the finish line.
Recently at Restoring the Years Global Ministries, the message was about application of the truth we discover. We all shout and holler about Jesus being the Truth (and He is), but if we are honest we have to agree that very often the discovery of the truth is painful, and even humiliating. The truth can be like a punch to the gut that seems to weaken us.
But like the worn-out runners mentioned earlier, the Apostle Paul discovered profound strength in his own personal weakness. Through his limitations Paul was able to meet Jesus in a new way. The Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
There is a power we will never know if we remain confident in our own abilities. Even the spiritual gifts that God has given us will become ineffective if we only rely on our own skills, personality, and knowledge to carry them out. John the Baptist had it exactly right when he saw Jesus and proclaimed, “He must increase. I must decrease” (John 3:30).
This type of thinking is so opposite of all that we are naturally inclined to do. We hide our weaknesses and strive to make ourselves greater all the time. But when we live this way, we will always fall short of the glory that God wants to express through us.
Paul goes on to say, “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10).
So, realizing that we are already nearly three months into 2022, let us keep our sights on all that we want to do by midnight on December 31st. Let’s allow God to exceed our expectations. He can do that if we fully face and embrace our frailties and rely on His strength to get us over the finish line with unspeakable victory and joy.
Meditation: “When I look to Jesus my Lord, my limitations set the stage for me to leap for joy!”
Challenge: Make a list of five (5) milestones you want to accomplish this year, along with the specific limitations that threaten to stop you from each one. What Bible verses can you find to strengthen your heart to rely on Jesus for your complete victory?