Getting back in the race


That scene was the defining moment of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and one of the most remembered moments in Olympic history.  Derek Redmond came into ‘92 Olympics with the dream of winning gold.  He had battled the last four years, through eight surgeries and hard training, to overcome the disappointment of pulling his Achilles tendon in the opening 400 meter round of the 1988 Seoul Olympics. 

Barcelona was his chance for redemption.  As the British record holder he came into this semi-final in the 400 meters leading all the other competitors with the best time from the first two rounds of qualifying. 

Derek Redmond’s triumph in finishing the race is inspiration on two levels.  First it touches hearts deeply because Derek got up.  In spite of pulling his hamstring and finding himself laying on the track in utter devastation, he decided to get up and hobble 150 meters to the finish. 

But if that were not enough, his father Jim fights his way past security onto the track to his son’s side, places his arm around him for support and proceeds to escort him down the track.  With Derek, pain etched on his face, leaning on this father’s shoulder, together the two of them cover the remaining meters to the finish line.  What a picture!

There are numerous encouragements in the scriptures to those who fail through circumstance or fall through sin to get up and get back in the race.  “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again,.”  Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)  This video clip of a man seeking glory on an earthly stage should be all the more inspiration to those seeking a heavenly glory and crown.  Let nothing deter us from finishing the race!  Are you down and seemingly defeated?  Get back up and into the race! 

The good news is it doesn’t all depend upon you.  We have a Father who promises to be by our side who is more loving, more supportive, more compassionate and wise Derek’s father.  He is our heavenly Father who through Jesus will carry our sorrows and under-gird us with strength to finish our race. 

It reminds me of a chorus from a hymn we sung years ago.  “Leaning on His arm, the blessed Savior’s arm, trusting in His name the tower that shelters from the storm, coming up from the wilderness, leaning on His arm.”

Are you leaning on His arm?  If not you should be!  He is there by your side to escort you to the finish of your race.

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