Crawl If You Have To

I recently listened to the story then watched the video of a woman named Julie Moss, who in February 1982, was a 23-year-old graduate student who competed in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii.  The triathlon includes a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bike race and a 26.2-mile run.

Near the end, she had a comfortable lead over the other athletes, but less than a mile from the finish, Moss’s legs turned to jelly and she collapsed.  She kept struggling to stand and walk, but kept collapsing.  Less than 10 yards from the finish, she collapsed for the final time. As Moss was lying there, she was passed by the woman in second, who won the race.

But Moss didn’t give up.  She got onto her knees and crawled inch by inch to the finish line to come in second.

It is amazing what people will go through to win an earthly race. To win a ribbon, medal or trophy. To win earthly applause and recognition.  How much more should we be willing to endure suffering and hardship to win heavenly glory.  To hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.”

If Julie Moss was so determined to get to the finish line that she would get up again and again after falling and then finally crawl to the end of the race, shouldn’t we who have the hope of enjoying Jesus forever be even more determined to finish our race?

If you are suffering today, don’t give up. Keep going. Keep seeking Jesus for strength. Keep asking for prayer. Keep thanking God. Keep meeting together with the saints.

Endure because when you gaze upon Jesus’ soul-ravishing beauty you will say it was worth it. You’ll say I would have endured a thousand lifetimes of suffering for this kind of joy and glory.

Lord Jesus, give us grace to endure!