Life is an ebb and flow. I didn’t really pay it any mind until I had accumulated five decades of it. Even then it came to mind only occasionally. Now that I’ve amassed more than six of those decades I seem to be reminded more often, more easily, and more forcefully. I have been assured those reminders are likely to intensify as I approach the end of “the race.”
The apostle Paul wrote to his young mentee, Timothy: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have served the Lord faithfully” (2 Timothy 4:7). Paul was certain he was approaching the end of his life, soon to be graduated into eternity.
I take great comfort in his statement. Do not misunderstand, I DO NOT think of myself as a “Paul.” However, I do know that Paul had not always been a true and faithful servant of God. I suspect he had always been zealous, but for many years it had been his inherited religious tradition promoted by his zeal. I, in contrast, had not always been zealous about that. I was zealous about me!
Paul, describing himself as the “chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15) and still being confident that he had, as he sat in prison as an old man:
- fought the good fight,
- finished the race, and
- served the Lord faithfully.
He followed that statement with: ” Now, a prize is waiting for me—the crown that will show I am right with God. The Lord, the judge who judges rightly, will give it to me on that Day. Yes, he will give it to me and to everyone else who is eagerly looking forward to his coming” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Clearly Paul was under no illusion that he had somehow earned or deserved such a prize, it was a gift he had been promised. There it is! That is the gift waiting for me as well. The ebb and flow of life has burned much of my self-confidence right out of me. Within myself I have little in which to have confidence. (That is quite a statement for a Texan!)
What I do have is God-confidence. He has promised and will deliver, because unlike me, He has always been faithful.
Hallelujah! Come Lord Jesus!