Meaningful Ministry: Tiresome Race – Certain Victory – Week of July 8, 2024

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 27:13-14

I used to be a runner. And I say “used to” because I don’t often, okay, more like hardly ever, participate in that activity anymore… unless it is to run after a child who is running toward danger or has fallen and gotten a bad scrape.

But back when I did consider myself a runner, I used to use the last line from our Bible verses today as some type of motivation during my race: “be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

It might seem silly, but if I found myself at a point in the race or in my training where I didn’t think I could make it any further I would repeat that passage over and over again. My hope was really that God would take over my body and finish the race for me. Sadly, that never actually happened, and my very own strength had to keep propelling my legs forward one step at a time for each and every race. But it always gave me a little bit of hope!

The Psalm writer was certainly not writing these verses as he was running a physical race, but perhaps in a different sense you could say that he was, because life is like a race. There’s a beginning and an ending and in the middle of it we do often get tired of running this race.

Maybe it’s your ministry that’s wearing on you. You’re working day in and day out for the Lord and sharing his precious truths with little children and adults alike, but you struggle to see the impact you’re making, and your efforts often seem in vain. Possibly it’s your life at home. You know that serving your family is an invaluable gift, but there is little thanks and no reprieve from the chores. Or maybe it’s something completely different.

David, the Psalm writer, was also feeling tired and worn down. His life was filled with opposition, enemies, inner personal struggles, and death. Yet he writes our verses for today, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

While my hope was futile that God would take over my body and finish the race for me when my physical strength seemed to be failing, our true hope in the LORD is never futile. As we wait for him, it’s not a waiting that might not ever be fulfilled, rather it’s a waiting similar to a student waiting for his teacher to teach him, or a child waiting for his parent. There’s always fulfillment in our waiting, because our Lord always keeps his promises to us.

Ponder the words of Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” This race we call life does not come without help, and actually it comes with someone who already ran the race for us: Jesus. Born into this world to take on sin, death and the devil, he came to make sure our victory was certain at the end of our race. He came to make sure our hope was certain. So now… we find confidence in the love, grace, power, and mercy of our living Lord as we wait for his final victory lap and our eternal life with him! And while we wait, we run on, proclaiming the goodness of God to all who might listen, because we know that our work is never in vain!

Prayer:
Lord, our strength when we feel tired and weak, lift us up when we feel that we have nothing left to give, when our ministry at home or our jobs feel too heavy for us to carry. Remind us of the eternal impact you have on all people and what a blessing it is to be a part of your plan. Keep us in your Word that we may always be reminded of the certain victory you have promised us. We wait for you, Jesus. Amen.

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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