Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today's Devotional Scripture

Today's Verse
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
~1 Corinthians 15:57
Thoughts on today's verse...
Sometimes in our church, they will sing some of the old hymns - Faith is the Victory, Victory in Jesus. Frankly, there have been times in my life that I have felt so defeated that I couldn't join the congregation in singing those songs. I would just stand there and listen to the words, but I felt so dejected and alone, I suppose... Everyone around me was singing about victory and I wanted to know where it was and how to get it!

I have come to believe that it's a lot like being an athlete. Athletes go through grilling practices for what ever their speciality is. Then, they compete against others who are performing the very same speciality. Sometimes they win and sometimes they don't. But, they finish the race, the course, the event.

It reminds me of an Olympic event a number of years ago. His name was Derrick Redman. He was a runner for Great Britain in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He tried to make it in the 1988 summer Olympics but he was injured and he had to make a decision, “Do I go through all the work for four more years to get to the 92 Olympics?” But he made a decision to run again to honour his father who had supported him all of his life.

Derek qualified for the 1992 Olympics which was an amazing feat since he had undergone twenty-two surgeries on his Achilles’ tendon. He qualified to be in the semi finals of the men’s 440 meter race. He was in one of the center lanes, the gun fired and he shot out of the blocks leading the pack. 140 metres down the track he was in a strong position when his hamstring gave way. He collapsed to the ground in a ball of pain and tears. Medics ran out to assist him but Redman waved them away. He was determined to finish the race, even if he couldn't’t win it. And so he crawled and hobbled his way along the track.

There was a commotion in the crowd and a man ran down from the grandstands. He pushed his way through the security guards and ran on to the track towards his son. It was Jim Redman, Derrick’s father. He placed an arm around Derek. “You don’t have to do this” Jim told his son. “Yes I do” Derek replied. “Well then” said Jim, “we’re going to finish this together”. Just before they reached the finish line, with the crowd screaming in support, Jim Redmond let his son go, so that he could cross the line on his own.

After the race Derrick Redman was interviewed and he said “My father was the only person who could have helped me, because he understood everything that I had been through.” (From Deeper Still by phil mccallum.) I so remember watching this event and I'm still moved to tears when I think about it or read a reference to it. I believe today's verse is an encouragement for us to finish the race, or the event, after all, Christ is the victor!
My prayer...

Abba Father, some days it is difficult to feel the victory and so much easier to claim defeat. May we remember that it is You who is the victor. Thank you for the example of Derrick Redman and his father, Jim Redman. May we always remember that like Jim Redman, You, our heavenly Father, are there to help us cross the finish line. In Jesus' name ~ Amen!

Yours, because we're His,

Tamara