So today my husband and I have been up since 4.30am to start our journey to South Africa where we will be working at an orphanage for 10 days. After arriving at Heathrow we’ve had 8 hours to kill before our next flight which has meant we’ve eaten a lot of snacks, drunk a lot of tea and done a lot of window shopping! It has also given me time to reflect about the 10 days ahead of us and what we should expect.
So far I have spent so much time thinking about the excitement of it all that it is only in the last few days that I have really begun to ponder the hard part of our trip. I honestly cannot imagine just how it’s going to change us but I am convinced that it will. One friend said to me, “You’re going to feel uncomfortable when you’re there you know?”. My answer was simply, “I know, but that’s kind of the point”. It’s ok to feel uncomfortable and how can we ever learn if we don’t step outside of our safety net and get uncomfortable? What are we really doing if we just always stay safe?
The fact is, it will be hard and life after might feel hard too but it is an integral part of looking outside of ourselves. Hard doesn’t mean that we can’t keep going or that we will have to give up. Hard just means we need a helping hand to guide us and steer us, to hold us up and love us. As I was thinking about this a video clip from YouTube popped into my head. It is of Derek Redmond at the Barcelona Olympica in 1992 and mid race he tears his hamstring and is unable to continue running. Determined to finish the race he hobbles on, hopping as best he can. Then suddenly into the background runs a man from the stands: his father. Batting officials away, he runs to his son and he places his arm around his shoulders and he helps and supports Redmond to the finish line and across it.
Everytime I watch this clip I cry. A fathers love is a powerful and precious thing and it reminds me of our great father in Heaven, who when the race is too hard to run, appears by our side, half carrying, half supporting us to the very end and across that line. This was probably the hardest moment of Redmond’s athletic career yet he kept going and by himself he may not have made it over that finish line, and if he did, it would certainly have taken him a lot longer and been a lot harder. But in that moment he had his dad to support him and love him. Sadly our earthly fathers can’t always be with us but our Heavenly Father is always with us, no matter where we are or what we are doing. If it doesn’t feel like it maybe it’s because you aren’t looking out for Him but all you have to do is call our His name and He’ll appear.
So yes, our race might get hard and it might seem too tough to finish sometimes, but our Father will always be there to running alongside us. Never forget He is there and that His arm supporting you is the greatest strength you will ever know. Together your race will get finished.
Here is that precious clip: