You’ve fought the good fight.
You’ve finished the race.
Well done, good and faithful servant.
When I think about the phrases now, the first thing that comes to mind is our friend Dan who is now in the presence of Jesus. He undoubtedly heard these upon his entrance through the Heavenly Gates.
But when I look at these same statements for myself, I don’t feel encouraged. I feel tired.
Tired of fighting the "good fight." Ministry is lonely and exhausting in the deepest, most holy of ways. Tired of racing. Of hustling, yes, but also of saying 'yes' when I'd rather say no (see last nights Instagram Post). Of saying no to fun things to choose the best thing.
And I can't help but to want to quit sometimes.
Many days I want to lay my sword down, look up at the Lord and say, ✌️out. There are more days than I care to count when I want to crawl back in bed and binge Netflix all day long. (Many days I do).
But, at the end of the day, despite my exhaustion and the constant desire to quit, I want to be the girl who showed up.
I want to be the one who worked hard and gave it my all. To be the girl who stood for something, who preached God's grace, and who loved God's truth. I want to be the person who ran the race well, not just as quick as I could.
Can you relate?
Maybe God is calling you to go and serve.
Maybe that requires quitting your job, a volunteer position, or a hobby.
And that seems like the worst thing he could possibly ask if you. It seems like the very last thing you would ever, ever, want to do.
But don’t decide to sit out of the race he’s calling you to because it’s more comfortable on the sidelines.
Maybe God is calling you to go and tell.
Maybe that requires you letting go of a long-held secret, like me.
Maybe that demands that you be in healthy relationship with others, or that you see a counselor, or that you admit a wrongdoing.
Don’t choose cheering someone else on over running for yourself. We absolutely need each other and should be cheering one another on always, but not in lieu of entering the race ourselves.
We cannot finish a race that we don’t even show up to.
I mean, can you even imagine if someone wanted to cross the finish line of a marathon to receive a medal? They would get there and say, “Hey, I crossed the finish line! Where's my medal?”
Sure the person is physically in the same place as those who finished. But in every other way, they are not.
Because they didn't run, they didn't finish anything. They simply got there by being there.
Don't just get to heaven by “being there.” Finish well.
I want to get to heaven out of breath, y’all, don't you? When we're exhausted, we take a break, sit down, grab a cup of water or a granola bar. But we do not QUIT.
Ultimately, I have to remind myself that when I meet Jesus (and see our beloved Dan), I absolutely want to hear these words from him. And it absolutely makes the fight and the race worth it.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who loved his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8)