“God ain’t done with me yet” was my grandmother’s favorite saying as she got older. She lived her life like the old man in this illustration.
The great evangelist George Whitefield was relating the difficulties of the gospel ministry to some friends. He said that he was weary of the burdens and was glad that his work would soon be over and that he would depart this earthly scene to be with Christ. The others admitted having similar feelings — all except one, a Mr. Tennant. Noting this, Whitefield tapped him on the knee and said, “Well, Brother Tennant, you are the oldest among us; do you not rejoice to think that your time is so near at hand when you will be called Home?”
The old man answered bluntly that he had no wish about it. When pressed for something more definite, he added, “I have nothing to do with death. My business is to live as long as I can, and as well as I can, and serve my Savior as faithfully as I can, until He thinks it’s time to call me Home.” Whitefield accepted that word as a gentle rebuke from the Lord, and it helped him go on with his work calmly and patiently. – Our Daily Bread.
For my older, wiser readers, don’t give up being a blessing to the kingdom. The church needs you. The mission of God needs you. Young believers need you. Finish the race marked out for you.
How Will You Finish Your Race?
In Hebrews 12 it says, “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders.” Paul is using the metaphor of running. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance.” There’s that “P” word I know that I don’t enjoy very much.
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
A cross-country team ran on a golf course. In order to do this, officials had to go out and place flags on the course to show the runners where they were supposed to run. One color indicated “left turn.” Another color meant “right turn.” Another indicated to the runners to go “straight ahead.”
That was the race marked out in advance for the runners; if they wanted to win a medal, they had to follow the course marked out.
In this Christian life, God has gone before us laying out the flags for our journey. The faith given to us by God himself allows us to run the race God has marked out. Faith in the God who knows your end from your beginning. The God who knows all the days of your life. In his great foreknowledge, he has gone ahead of you and planted these flags ahead of you. And the Scripture says, “Run with perseverance the race marked out for you.”
Each race is unique.
This is one of the most difficult parts of the life of faith. The Christian life at times seems unfair. There are times in your race when you will wrestle with thoughts like, “Why does my race seem so tough?” You want to feel sorry for yourself. It will become easy to look at someone else and say, “Boy if I had his or her race to run, no problem. I could handle that. If I had their bank account, I could do that “p-thing”, persevere. What If God had given me a better partner then I could complete this race? For those traveling this journey alone, you may wish God gave you a partner to run alongside you.
When the race gets tough Satan tends to whisper in your ear “It’s okay for you to quit. You don’t have to run with perseverance because God gave you a raw deal. Your course is so much harder than that of other people’s. It ok, just quit.” Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. When the going got tough I wanted to just quit going.
But God says, “I want you to run this race. This is what I hold you accountable for. Don’t think about others. You just look at me. And together, we’ll run your race.” I am writing this to encourage each of us regardless of age, stage, or situation to run your race. Persevere because God ain’t done with you yet!