STAND FIRM

Last week my dear friend Patty ran (and completed) the Boston Marathon, arguably the most famous of all marathons. We are all so proud of her! Just to be eligible for entry, a person must be an elite runner having qualified in previously recognized races.  She had to run hundreds of miles to train. She had to endure countless trials just to be eligible to compete in Boston . . . what an honor . . . what an accomplishment!
 
Well done Patty!
 

Here’s the thing . . . the race 2018 had the worst weather in Boston Marathon history.

  • Yes it had been cold before.
  • Yes, it had been windy before.
  • And, yes it had been rainy before.
  • But never all three at once!
    • Temperature in the 30s
    • Gale force winds
    • Sideways torrential rain
How can a person prepare for that?
 
You know, life is a lot like the 2018 Boston Marathon . . . 
 
Not only is life a difficult task to begin with, but then we have unexpected challenges, difficulties and impossibilities thrown in all along the route.

 

That being said: I have observed three things in our culture that remind me of this great challenge we all have . . . called . . . life:

 

FIRST: I have observed that we live in an age of increasing: 

LACK OF DIRECTION

Have you ever been to Disneyland?
How about Hawaii?
 
Are you the kind of person who likes to explore new places on your own? Or, would you rather have a guide – someone who has been there before? I would guess that it’s about 50-50 . . . some people would rather go on their own and others would rather have someone guide them.

How about this?

What if you were going to take your first trip through a swampy jungle? A dangerous place where there are no pathways but lots of perils, alligators, snakes and spiders. And worst of all . . . there are mosquitos!

Now . . . would you like a guide?
 
Someone who has learned how to navigate the danger?
 
Well . . .
 
Life is not Disneyland . . .
 
         Living in Waikiki is not reality . . .
 
                  Life is a jungle and full of challenges!
 

Do you know the answer to this problem?

                  JESUS

Jesus is our Guide – He is our direction

 

It’s really simple. He said “Follow Me.”  He said seek His Kingdom above all else.

 

SECOND: I have observed that we live in an age of increasing:

LACK OF FOUNDATION

This world is a dangerous place. And it’s getting more and more difficult to raise our children and grandchildren in the ways of God.

There is an exponentially increasing assault and open hostility toward the things we used to think were “normal.”

What used to be “abnormal” is now considered “normal”
and what was “normal” is now considered “abnormal.”
 
The assault on traditional marriage and family is rampant. The battle for the hearts and minds of our youth seems to be a battle we might actually lose.
 
Do you know the answer to this problem?

                  JESUS

Jesus is our Rock – He is our foundation

It’s really simple. He said “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail over it.”

 

THIRD: I have observed that we live in an age of increasing:

LACK OF MARGIN

You know what margin is . . . right? It’s the blank part of the page where there are no words. It’s what our grandparents did when they sat on the porch and did nothing . . . just enjoyed the moment . . . and each other.

Most Christians are fairly healthy in body – and in spirit –

         but they have no margin . . .

                                                      they are lean in soul!

Jesus said He would give us rest for our souls. Not our bodies. Not our spirits. But our souls . . .

I’m amazed that Believers try to squeeze Jesus into an already over crowded life!
It’s like trying to squeeze an extra piece of pie into an already whole pie.
 
What a mess we’re in . . .

Do you know the answer to this problem?

                  JESUS

Jesus is our Rest – He is our margin

It’s really simple – Jesus must be the center!  Jesus can’t just be the extra thing we are trying to fit into our already full and stressed out lives. He wants to be the whole thing! Then, out of a life centered on Jesus comes health, and great marriages, and godly children, and great workers and students!
 

So, there you have it friends . . . Jesus is always the right answer!

So, when life assaults you from every direction, (like Patty running the Boston Marathon) remember that Jesus is our Direction, our Foundation, our Center
 
Love you all,

Steve 

 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.    Matthew 16:24

 

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”   Matthew 11:28-30

 

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  Matthew 6:33

 

 


4 Responses to “STAND FIRM”

  1. Chuck says:

    Great read Steve, thanks for this healthy reminder. Knowing Jesus is the answer.

  2. Korinne Thomsen says:

    Steve! You just solved all the world’s problems! We just NEED Jesus! Could it be any simpler? Could it be any sweeter? Reminds me of a song,
    “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
    Because He lives, ALL fear is gone.
    Because I know, I KNOW He holds the future.
    And life is worth the living, just because He LIVES.”
    Thanks Steve for reducing life to it’s irreducible minimum…JESUS! He allows us to live life to it’s maximum!!!
    How many people can say, “I finished the Boston Marathon”? I only personally know of ONE, “Patty-Poo”! Patty, your ginormous fan base is so extremely proud of you! Korinne

  3. Patty V says:

    Thank you, Steve, thank you for your words! They mean so much to me . . . . and thank you for the reminder that what/who we need is Jesus . . . Jesus first, Jesus in the middle, and Jesus last . . .
    Korinne . . . thank you my dear friend!! 🙂

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