Races can take you through many terrains. Running uphill, it’s hard. The more you go, the steeper the incline, the harder it gets. Breath after breath your chest heaves for relief. Push after push your muscles cry out for mercy. And, just when you thought you had no more in you; just when you thought you couldn’t go any farther, from behind there comes these hands out of nowhere that steadies your stride and helps propel you forward some more. On the side of you comes smiling faces with encouraging words grabbing hold of your arms and help pull you up that incline that you might finish your race. They want to help you make it.
The Apostle Paul often described our Christian life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We run it. We press for it. But, sometimes the way gets hard and if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.
As the community of racers pushed and pulled the struggling runner uphill, so God will minister to us to help us go through our race. Often this is done through the community of believers that will come alongside the one that needs support.
In this world the struggle is real. May we, as a community of believers, recognize the support that each one needs. May we join up with our fellow Christian race runners and offer the help and encouragement they need to make it. May we see beyond our own race and allow God to use our hands and smiling faces to help bolster someone’s faith as they are striving to make it up the inclines of this life.
We all have the same goal in mind: to finish the race. We need each other to do it. As a community of believers, our job goes beyond spreading the gospel and being a light in this dark world, and all the other spiritual stuff it entails. Our job is also to seek the welfare of one another. We need to be there for one another. We need to be present and involved in the process of what they are going through “that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
More encouraging verses and quotes:
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow . . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a
“God has chosen us to help one another.” Smith Wigglesworth
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Martin Luther King, Jr.