Bestselling author and national speaker Jim George said, “It’s not how you start that’s important, it’s how you finish.” Do you remember the fable about the tortoise and the hare? If so, you know that the hare started the race with an extra measure of confidence and so midway of the race he decided to take a nap. When the hare awoke from his mid-race slumber, he found the tortoise, slowly crawling but steadily, across to the finish line, thus winning the competition.
Let me ask you this, “Are you the over-confident hare or the slow and steady tortoise?”
You know at the beginning of the race it didn’t look too good for the tortoise but the one thing the tortoise didn’t do is quit! With that said, too many people today believe that if it starts bad, it will most likely end bad and they foster this ideology that undoubtedly contradicts scripture. Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “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 us. 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.”
When bad things happen, we really need to stop saying, ‘Welp, that’s the end of my story’! God is the One that authored our story (read Psalm 139) and because He penned every detail of our life including the times we’ve messed up and if His indelible grace and undeserved mercy covered us in those times, they will always cover us no matter how bad life gets!
All of this is made possible through the finished work of the cross. We should have posses confidence like the hare, but the work ethic like the tortoise because through Christ we will all end victoriously. Yes, the story of your life has many chapters and guess what—one bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end of your story!!
The enemy wants nothing more than for you to think that you’re defeated and you know what—he is a big ole liar. Satan speaks nothing more than partial truths and a partial truth is the worst lie ever told because it’s a mixture of fiction and non-fiction!
So if you are taking a mid-race sabbatical, the whistle is blowing signaling you to get moving! If you’re working slow and steady, but you’re beginning to loose heart think about what Jesus endured and then think about how his story ended or let me say, ‘ascended’. Jesus’ ascension reminds us where our race is headed. Make note that we are not running a horizontal race, our race is vertical!!
When we think of all that Jesus had accomplished, and all that He and the Holy Spirit are doing in us right now we are given a kind of “spiritual second wind” to keep going, in the Lord’s strength.
Looking back at our fable, isn’t it acutely ironic that both of the caricatures in the story exhibited confidence?! However, the hare’s confidence led him to take a mid-race siesta, whereas the tortoise’s confidence slowly but eventually led him to a celebratory fiesta! At the end of the day, both of them cross the finished line. Therefore, it’s doesn’t matter what happens between the start and the finish line. All that matters is that you cross both!
Pray with me:
Father God, we praise You for the finished work of the cross, assuring and securing us salvation. By your Spirit, we are encouraged, empowered, an equipped to confidently keep living and serving until the day You call us home. We thank you O’ God for perfecting the good work You started in us and for helping, guiding, and spurring us towards the finish line of Your perfect reflection!! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen and amen!