Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's not FAIR!

Some people face great difficulties in life, while others have it pretty easy. Scientists, by looking at your place of birth, can fairly accurately predict how long you'll live. I was born in America, so my life expectancy is much longer than someone born in Somalia. Even within our own circles, e.g., Filipinos working in HK, some come from happy families and work for kind bosses, while others come from backgrounds of great brokenness and may end up with an unkind boss. It doesn't seem fair.

Hebrews 12:1 says, "And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us."  The ESV translates it this way: "And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."

You and I are both running the race of faith, but my race is NOT the same as your race. My race may run along a flowing stream, while the course of your race is through the mountains. The road I'm running on may be smooth while yours is rough and strewn with rocks, or vice versa. Everyone's race is a race of faith, and yet, everyone's race is different. Your race is different from mine. The challenges you face are different than the challenges I face. It is easy for us to compare ourselves with others and say "It's not fair."

The race set before me is different than the race set before you, but some things are the same.

  1. The race is SET before us by God. Our loving Father in heaven determines the racecourse that we each will face. He has a plan for our lives and it is a plan to bless us, not to harm us. 
  2. Jesus has gone before us and will run our race with us. We are not alone in our race. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. He is the pioneer, the trailblazer. He has promised "I will never leave you nor forsake you." No matter how hard the race is right now, Jesus is besides you to help you. 
  3. Others have finished their races, and they are cheering for you and me to finish ours. They are our examples and by studying their lives we can learn to run well and will be able to finish our race.
  4. The race demands endurance. It won't be easy, but you can finish. Just don't quit. If you fall down, get back up again. Move your feet. Whisper a prayer for help and keep going. 
  5. It will be worth it. Someday we will enjoy the joys of being in the presence of Jesus. We'll be living on the new earth, and every day will be filled with unbelievable joy and wonder. Every tear will have been wiped away and we'll experience pure happiness. 
Keep on running. Don't give up. Life is not fair, but God is good and Jesus is running beside you, so keep moving. You can finish the race of faith.