We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. – 2 Corinthians 6:9
A couple of months ago I started using a new devotional each morning entitled Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungee & Nathan Whitaker (Tyndale House Publishers, 2011). Most days I come away with something to ponder and apply to my life. I want to share with you the devotion for August 13.
“In the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Michael Phelps was aiming to win eight events. If successful, he would break American swimmer Mark Spitz’s 1972 record of seven gold medals in a single Olympic Games. To accomplish the feat, Phelps needed to win the 4×100 meter freestyle relay, which consists of four swimmers from each competing country’s team each swimming one hundred meters of the freestyle, or two lengths of the pool, down and back.
“The US team was well behind after the third leg, when Jason Lezak dived into the pool. No one watching in the crowd or glued to their televisions gave him any chance of overtaking France’s Alain Bernard on the final anchor leg of the relay. It looked as though the United States would again lose this relay race – a race they had captured gold in seven times before – for the third straight summer games.
“But those watching hadn’t consulted one key person: Jason Lezak. At thirty-two, Jason was the oldest swimmer on the US team. He started the final leg well back of Bernard – the reigning world record holder in the 100-meter freestyle – and at the final turn, he was still a full body length behind. But there was no quit in Lezak, and with one incredible last stroke he bested the world’s best to win the relay for the United States by a fingertip and set a new world record. And Michael Phelps, with the help of his teammates, went on to achieve his goal.
“As I recall hearing in the interview with Lezak after the race, he didn’t think he would have caught Bernard in an individual race – the deficit was too big. However, because it was a relay, Lezak felt he was swimming for his teammates, so he couldn’t just give up. We need to feel the same way – we’re doing what we’re doing for the Lord, so we can’t just give up.
“You may not be training for the Olympics, but you do have personal goals that you’ve set for yourself, goals that mean a lot to you, like spending more time with your children or attempting your first half marathon or starting a Bible study. The moment you find reason to quit, think of Jason Lezak. And thank God that you have the opportunity to be in the race.”
Then Dungee & Whitaker finish by giving an “Uncommon Key > You will face many moments in your life when you want to throw in the towel. Decide right now that quitting is not an option. You may have been beaten this time, but you are still alive”
God is counting on you. There are lost people desperately in need of your life and mouth witness to them of Jesus Christ. Your church family is in need for you to do your part. Jesus may come at any time, leaving a very short time to do what God wants done. Let’s encourage each other to hang in there and not quit.
We are Co-laborers with Christ,