Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017 Devotional Word #18: PERSEVERANCE

Did you read about it? Did someone tell you about it? Did you see it on social media?

True inspiration was witnessed at the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago. An Army veteran and a Marine captured the hearts of so many people not simply by running the marathon, but by running the race with prothetic legs.

Earl Granville (Army)

Jose Luis Sanchez (Marines)

You see... both these men lost legs while serving our country in Afghanistan - Granville (roadside bomb in 2008) and Sanchez (IED in 2011). These men are living examples of PERSEVERANCE.

Perseverance is defined by Merriam-Webster as "continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition."

I wonder about each of these men and the journey of the past few years following their injuries while serving in the armed forces. I imagine how difficult it was for each of them to relearn how to walk. I think about the people close to them that stood by them as they healed inside and out. I'm certain there were days of extreme physical, emotional and mental anguish.

Yet here they were running the biggest race in the country. Every step they took in the marathon, every drop of sweat, every life that was touched was PERSEVERANCE lived out for all too see.

I think there are great lessons we can all learn from their example. The Christian life is not a sprint, but rather a marathon.

At the end of his ministry and life, the Apostle Paul looked back at his life and recalled "fighting the good fight... finishing the race... keeping the faith."

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing"
~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8

No matter where you are in the marathon of this life, expect difficulties, failure, and opposition! The Christian life was never promised to be a walk in the park. If and when things get tough, keep running with perseverance. The end of your race will come in its due time. 
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with PERSEVERANCE the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
~ Hebrews 12:1-3

When interviewed after the race, Sanchez told a local news station that he ran the race "for others to be inspired, to be motivated." Mission accomplished!

Don't forget that others have gone before you and set the example. Many are presently running along side of you or cheering from a close distance. The Lord will give you the strength and provision you need to finish the race. Keep your eyes on Him!

I imagine we should all live this life the Lord has given us just like Granville and Sanchez ran the Boston Marathon... 

one step at a time!

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