What does it take for a marathon runner to reach the finish line? I bet you can guess it ;) Endurance and determination. A great athlete knows the best on how to discipline their daily life in order to prepare for a competition which usually held once every four years. They do make a lot of sacrifices including restraining their foods, spend a lot of time in practicing, and determine to get enough sleep as well. They live only for one purpose ... to run, reach the finish line, and break the world record. They know the best how to delay their momentary satisfaction to attain a greater gain.
I hope that we can see a glimpse of how we need to run for our life. You may have heard before that life is a journey. There is a song sung by Angela Zhang titled "Journey". A very beautiful song with meaningful lyrics. It truly describes that "It's a long long journey ... til I find my way home to You" We do not know for sure how long will we live on this earth, but we can choose how to live our life to the fullest before we go back to our Father in Heaven :)
It takes endurance, determination, and faithfulness along the way to reach God's purpose of our life. I believe that those who will reach the finish line in the end are not the people who are the greatest, the weathiest, or the most famous; yet those who are the most faithful.
God's eyes search throughout the earth to find those who are faithful to Him. Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find? (Proverbs 20:6) In his eyes, whether you lead 5 or 1000 people does not matter as long as you are faithful to Him. Why is faithfulness mean so much to our loving God? For He himself IS faithful :) The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it (1 Thes 5:24) A faithful person makes someone trustworthy or in other words worthy of trust :) Never demand trust from one person when you yourself have not show your faithfulness to them. When God sees you as faithful and trustworthy, He will open the gates of His blessings for He knows you will be the channel for others and not for yourself only.
What makes a faithful person so rare nowadays? For it FEELS good to be unfaithful. It feels good to have more than one girlfriend. It makes you proud and being admired with your peers. It feels good to eat junk food rather than stick to your healthy diet. It feels so much easier to go along with the crowd who does not put high value on faithfulness. Many mother even tells her daughters that, "All guys are the same, they are jerks :s" How ironic isn't it? It cannot be denied that faithful persons are minority. That is why God keep searching and treasure them so much :) A person can only be faithful as he is willing to lay down his life to truly follow Christ, the Spirit of God will certainly work in his heart and day by day His character will be revealed. Faithfulness is a product of God's GRACE, not a human effort to follow the rules. And that makes it lasts forever :)
The winner of the marathon is certainly different from the others. He may have practiced more throughout the years, he may have more positive mental regarding the pressures during the competition, and he is for sure have executed faithfulness in a better quality than others. Yes, he exceeds them all :) A faithful person will indeed exceed those who do not pursue it and will reap the indescribable joy at the finish line. Be the winner then, be the faithful person.
I believe that every person has been blessed with different kinds of personalities by God from the very beginning. This nature makes it sometimes easier for someone to be faithful and others not. This tendency becomes even stronger as they learn from their family and friends who either practice faithfulness or unfaithfulness in front of their eyes. But in God, there is no exception in here. Because either you are an easily-get-bored person or the one who loves repetitive activity, God empowers you to be faithful :)
Then how does a faithful person look like? A faithful person always stick with their words and promises. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No' (Matthew 5:37). Do not make promises that you cannot keep. A trust can be built in years while to destroy it only takes one unkept promise. A faithful person will also stick to the end. He will stand throughout the rain and stick to what they have determined to do even more when the rain has become a storm. They do not ignore or run away when there is a problem. They will try to solve it and even when it is has not been resolved, they will endure the rough season patiently. Jesus teaches us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). Sometimes when we pray, we ask more about the release of the problem rather than the endurance and the sight of His purpose behind it. We pray, "God, please take this away from me" rather than asking Him, "God, what do you want me to learn through this?" If by taking away your pain ends your growth, then maybe it is better for God not to take it.. not until you have grown enough to have wide heart capacity to contain his blessings :) We can never truly experience who God is until we seek Him in pain and surrendered heart.
When God called you into a marathon of life, He equips you so that you may endure it. Yet it takes us to choose constantly to yield our will and let Him has His will be done in our lives. As we rebel against His plan, we will only find more pain. Because there is no beautiful ending outside of His purpose. No one reaches finish line unless He gives them strength to it. For all of these in the end will lead Him to be glorified. No credit for us. For He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30). If it takes long journey throughout the desert, so be it. As we surrender and trust in the faithfulness of God, we will endure well this journey. And one day we will meet up together ... at the finish line :)
Love and faithfulness meets together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other