So, I was talking with my sister-in-law after church today, and she said something I just couldn’t resist expounding upon: “Isn’t it so kind of God to give us hope before the hurdle.”
When track runners face hurdles, they take them at speed. They train relentlessly to build the muscle memory and strength required not only for running but also to develop the rhythm of lifting their bodies up and over hurdles without breaking stride. And, they learn that speed and confidence are their friends; for, if they lose speed or hesitate before meeting a hurdle, they risk injury.
Does that sound a little bit like life? We often talk about the hills and the valleys, but how about those hurdles? You’re going along in a certain direction, and suddenly there’s an obstacle. You have to make a quick decision whether to go over it, around it, or just sit down in front of it. Most of us are likely fairly adept at dealing with the small road bumps: losing our keys, finding a hole in the shirt we were going to wear today, realizing that the gas tank is running on fumes when there’s little or no time to stop for a fill-up. Maybe even we take the bigger stuff in stride: the leak under the kitchen sink, the rusted out hot water heater, or the un-announced guests arriving for the weekend you planned to get the house cleaned.
Life happens, and it isn’t always an easy road. There are real issues to overcome, like illness, job loss, natural disasters, and troubled and anxious hearts in the ones we love. Thank God for the buoyancy of hope in Christ Jesus. It is a mystery how it works, but it so definitely does work. It carries us up and over the hurdles of life and propels us forward into our destiny.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:28-31 NKJV)
What hurdles are you facing today, dear one? Are they easily traversed? Do they seem more challenging than you expected? Do you need an infusion of hope to carry you over? Whatever breakthrough you need, remember that He cares more ably, loves more deeply and knows more fully than we do what is required to bring us and those we love safely home. As we faithfully obey and willingly forgive, He is advancing His Kingdom and planting the seeds that will break forth into salvation. Thus sayeth the Lord, “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:8 NIV)
Until next week, beloved, let eternal hope spring you up and over the hurdles.