Running Uphill During a Roaring Pandemic

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training … [and] they do it to get a crown that will not last. But we do it to get a crown that will last forever” –1 Corinthians 9:24-25

The world is in an uproar. People are tired, stressed and on the edge. And as we make our way through a pandemic of biblical-like proportions, the world demands answers. We as Christian-believers however, should not get caught up (and swept away) by fear-mongering and madness. After all, it was Jesus Himself who told His disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

 God wants His people to know (and to believe) that He has already overcome the trials of this world. And, we can too—in Him and through Him. God has promised never to leave us or forsake us in times of trouble; to supply our every need. We can trust that at the end of every trial and affliction, there will be great and unfathomable blessings that await. Job, for example, received back double for what he lost while being tested by satan. Many prefer to overlook the fact that it was God Who allowed the testing to happen. Why would He do that? many ask. Well, because God trusted Job. Through this testing, God would prove the devil wrong (once more), fully restore and bless Job for his faith, and then leave us his eternal legacy for encouragement. You see, God knows what He is doing.

While there is much to learn from Job, particularly as it relates to suffering, one of the greatest lessons is how to continue serving God while suffering. Job continued to worship and thank our Lord during unimaginable hardship and loss. He was able to do so by committing to unwavering faith, love and trust in God in any and all circumstances. And God also knew He could trust Job to trust Him–no matter what.

The question God is asking all of us today is, Can He trust us to trust Him?  With all that’s going on around you, do you trust Him with your life? The outcome? For the final victory? Paul tells us in Hebrews 12:1-3, “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 our faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and [then] 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.”

We have so much to learn from those who have gone before us. Just like they were, we too are in a race for the finish. And just like in any other long-distance race, there will be tough stretches of terrain. Parts of the road which will demand great faith and strain; places where many will give in and faint. Just like “heart break hill” in the Boston marathon.

God is undoubtedly watching His people climb the steepest of hills during this global pandemic. And there is also no doubt He wants His children to finish the race–to trust Him and overcome the hill. We may not know what awaits at the bottom of every hill, but we do know that those who endure til the end will receive an eternal reward. A blessing worth far more than mere silver and gold (Psalm 119:72).

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training … [and] they do it to get a crown that will not last. But we do it to get a crown that will last forever” -the Apostle Paul; 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Let us show ourselves then faithful and trustworthy to conquer the most treacherous of terrain. Let us get excited about the ultimate prize Saint Paul was so enthusiastic about. And let us strive toward the day when, standing before our Heavenly Father, we will hear Him say: “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Come now and share in your Master’s joy.”

Keep going! The greatest blessing of your life awaits…