Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Meaningful moments often aren’t made from perfection, but derive from difficulty that has denied defeat. I remember seeing a clip from the 1992 Olympics that I will never forget. An athlete by the name of Derek Redmond was competing in the 400 meter semifinal when, during mid-run, an unexpected tear in his hamstring instantly brought him to the ground, along with his dream of winning the gold. As his fellow racers passed him by, Derek slowly rose up and began to hobble his way through the pain towards the finish line. But what he didn’t realize is that he wouldn’t be walking alone, because out of the stands ran his father to be at his side and help carry him the rest of the way. And shoulder to shoulder, they pressed on towards the goal until they finished strong together. Derek may not have won the gold, but that day, he received a prize far greater.
Isn’t that such a beautiful picture of the Father-heart of God, who runs to meet us where we are? Who lifts us up when we are weak and helps carry us through our most difficult days? Have you been there? Have you experienced trouble that has brought you to your knees, only to be met by your comforting Father? Although suffering may not be a part of God’s will, He sure uses it to bring others closer to Him. For it’s in those places of great discomfort that He reminds us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Sometimes God brings us out of our comfort, so He can lead us into our calling, as we learn to trust His Sovereign plan. Have you ever thought, “What if the hard roads you have traveled weren’t intended to hurt you, but to equip you for someone who will one day need you?” We may only see the present, but God knows the future.
There are times that motherhood will wear you out and knock you down. Where failure and defeat echo your name. (It’s a feeling I know all too well.) Whether it’s battling that strong personality, managing more tasks than your planner can hold, or facing personal setbacks, etc. Even in the midst of it all, that’s where God’s grace meets you and reminds you that you were never intended to do it alone. He is enough for you. And it’s through His strength that you are able to press on and push through whatever challenges face you today. So take the pressure off of yourself to “have it all together” and just look up. Hold on. And keep moving forward, because your greatest prize is right beside you, ready to help you walk out your calling, as you raise up the next generation to know and follow after the Lord. Press on!
Thank you for loving us even at our lowest. You extend your strength when we’re tired and weak and help us when we need it most. Lord, you are so good. What a gift we have to do life with You. May the same comfort and compassion you share with us overflow onto those around us. Amen