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Finish Line

My longtime family friend and another mama to me, just said something I will remember forever. She is currently awaiting news to find out if her sweet husband and our dear loved one will make it out of the hospital alive. It seems this storyline thread is getting more common in my own small circle of friends and family and certainly it is a book none of us wants to read. It is forced into our hands and reluctantly opened; the first chapter entitled "Uncertain Outcome".

We are left here, his devoted wife especially, hanging in the space that sits between relieved joy and sorrow's deep gouging; holding our breath in the hard wait. What she said to me in the midst of this precarious hovering is: "Oh Jen, I fully believe what the Bible says; that God can do big healing miracles and that our days are numbered." Both are true. Both statements sobering for very different reasons.

Hearing this from her grounds me. Our God is sovereign. This is at the same time comforting and terrifying, at least for me, knowing I cannot control how this all turns out. Scripture tells us that He has planned our days from beginning to end (Psalm 139:16), so I should not be surprised by any occurrence, I know, but these hard life moments always unhinge and rattle a control freak like me.

Prior to our conversation, my thoughts were floating about, crashing into one another haphazardly, not knowing what to think and how to feel, lost in unknown outcome's dark and outer space. By her words, I am pulled down to reality's floor once again and back to understanding my place as a created being and where I belong: In God's hands and ultimate plans. This awaited result, as all others, is His to choose.

I am reminded that nothing is promised down here except His ever-presence with us in and through it all. He never leaves or forsakes us whether His will is full healing or the closing of our earthly chapter only to open up our Heavenly one on the very next page turn. In this huge truth I feel so small, so vulnerable wanting to save the day but knowing it is not mine to do. His will be done means just that...and we wait.

I am feeling drained and parched as I urgently drink in the words found in 1 Peter:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials...Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."(vv. 3-7,9 CSB)

There it is, the great reward unfurled. The accomplished goal of our faith-race down here; the finish line ribbon of this life is crossed as we enter into the next. This truth we must allow to sink into our deepest parts. My mama-friend and her husband understand this hope-promise and I am grateful.

While we hang in the balance, awaiting the doctor's news, we will remain in prayer and connecting to the One who knows the outcome and has set the plan. Our loved one knowing fully that either way he wins brings much needed comfort to us all, but sorrow's rock that may be up ahead can still trip us and scrape the soul's knees, making our continued journey painful. But, continue in the race we must, as we each have our own road to run.

May each of us understand as believers that our finish line is certainly coming; whether just around the bend or many miles away. We must know without a doubt that the goal of our faith, indeed the salvation of our souls, is a sure thing and we will get awarded the gold medal; no second place finishers in this contest.

We each will be glorified and crowned champions at the right time through the perfect offering of Christ's cross: As our Divine pacesetter and Redeemer who has cheered us on all along looks deep into our eyes and says at our race's completion: "Well done and welcome home".

And, this brings much needed heart balm even as we wait on the sidelines...

Question: Are you running your life's race with the sure knowledge of your glorified finish promise? If not, what is stopping you?

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