Forgiven, Redeemed and Sealed by the blood of Jesus

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Race Worth Running

2 Timothy 2: 1-4 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No soldier entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

Some days I hold my head high and think we are doing something right and other days I wallow in the disappointing moments as a parent. 
No one told me how hard it would be to a parent. How hard it is to see your kids' fall, to struggle with finding their place, to deal with fear or hurt of others and their words.  I understand so much more now the struggles my mom and dad dealt with daily .  You just make rules and try your best to enforce them, you lay out consequences and hope they're strong enough. You pray for and over them and trust it's enough. You guide them to the truth of Gods word and pray they always turn there.  The pressure is overwhelming most days.  Will we mess our boys up?  Have we not taught them enough, have we not spent enough time with them , have we covered every topic possible to ensure they are equipped in the circumstances.  Man I feel the pressure just typing this.  

2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient, for my power is made perfect in weakness...

Oh ,these words ,how I have clung to them so many times in life.  

But then there is that day, when you can sit and look at how far God has brought you, you can see how much He alone has done in the lives of your kids.  Yes we are guiding them but it is Jesus that lives in them and must live through them.  It is the Holy Spirit that must speak to them and they must hear and respond.  
Then He so graciously gives you a glimpse of His un daunting, relentless, all powerful love that HE has for your children and I do what moms do best - become an emotional mess as I watch my son run across the finish line.  I'm sure if he had seen me he would have been so embarrassed.... I can hear him say, " mom are you crying?"....  "Are you smiling?".... "What is wrong with you ?".  Nothing is more confusing to men or a boy then the emotions of a women or a girl.  
Sports have never been a priority in our lives.  We have never wanted the boys to find their value in how strong they were or how fast they were, or how many points they scored or didn't score.  We have never wanted sports to consume our time together or our time to serve others.  The physical body is a temporary place that will eventually change and eventually lose strength but their souls - those are eternal.  Their spiritual strength is what will carry them in difficult times because we will not always be there....But Jesus will be.

Deuteronomy 31:6  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes before you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

But this moment ......was a moment I saw something way bigger than the race he just finished.    It wasn't about him being the fastest, it wasn't about him looking like the strongest, it wasn't about him running close to the others and it wasn't even about his place.  No this was his life's race .  A race God has marked out just for him.  A race of character, of inner strength, a race of perseverance, a race not looking like everyone else's.  A race that is changing him from the inside out .  He doesn't appear to be the strongest, he doesn't appear to be the fastest, but that is about the flesh, the outside.  We are raising a warrior from the inside.  A warrior that that steps up when asked to full fill the calling even if he knows he is not the best one.   Obedience!  He says yes and he finishes strong with great character .  We want his strength, his obedience, his character to not only come from the power of Jesus within him but we want it to shine in his response and actions not in what the world says strength looks like . Not in what the world says is important.  We don't want him to strain for first place or to long for recognition of being the best...we want him to do his best for the ONE he serves. 

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people.

We are raising a man by Gods definition. 
I saw and heard this from his coach that day as he finished this race - in last place . 
I saw and heard it from his team mates as they told him great job, way to finish strong.   You see he was at that race as an alternate.  He went to serve others, to work the event and make sure others were able to compete. His coach chose for him to race because he had been faithful and worked hard that season.  He was chosen to run in the fastest meet.  Three years ago he would have never been at that race, he would have never said yes to that race.  Fear would have overcome him.  That is the power of prayer and trusting God is in control and His ways are greater than mine.  
This day he said yes and he finished.  
Acts 20:24  However , I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the good news of Gods grace.

Is it over?  No.  Will their be mistakes made by us as parents and him - yes.  We have made several already.  We know that and we don't take lightly for one minute the enemy and the war we are in with him.  But we will continue to fight .  We will not give in to the world and we will not conform to the importance of acceptance and the chains that entangles our children or us as adults. We will not place my eyes on the "prizes" of the world. We will fight for his confidence to be God confidence not self-confidence .  We will fight for him to be strong in the Lord not strong in physical appearance.  We will fight for his worth to be covered in the truth of Gods word not in awards or lack of.  His reward is greater outside the walls of this world.  We are helping to equip him for these battles.  May his race be HIS race and may he trust always that he is born for a purpose.  May his desire be to not only run a good race but the race marked out for him by HIM (JESUS !!!  

Thank you Jesus that your grace is truly sufficient because you alone are grace .  Thank you God for giving us the gift of these 2 boys. Help us to never stop fighting for them and with them. May their desire for you always be greater than anything else in life.  May they be strong and courageous inside - and may they run a good race , a race worthy of their calling !  Finishing - with others seeing YOU in everything!  May you receive the glory!


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