Derek Redmond. Does that name ring a bell? Probably not to most of you. But his motivation to finish a race will forever be etched in the minds of those who saw him race that day. A “loser” stole the show.
In the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Derek was favored to win the 400-meter semi-final race. Critics predicted he would easily skate by this race and end up winning the gold medal in the finals, proudly representing Great Britain. All his life, Derek had trained and prepared for this moment. He believed that his strenuous workouts and countless hours in the gym were going to pay off. Now was his time to shine and show the world he was the fastest man alive!
The race began, Derek flawlessly sprinted around the first lap. With just 250 meters remaining, he presumed victory was just seconds away. But then, something terrible happened. He suddenly fell to the ground. As the runners sprinted past him, he was left alone, face in his hands, a torn hamstring causing him to reel in pain. It wasn’t only the pain that caused him to cry; it was the shattered dream of everything—his blood, sweat, and tears—he had put into this momentous event. All for nothing.
The trainers rushed to him, attempting to pull him off the field. But Derek did the unthinkable. With anguish in his eyes, he got up and started hobbling his way toward the finish line. As he turned the final corner, he heard a man pushing his way onto the track. It was his father, running to him. “You don’t have to do this,” his father said. “Yes I do,” Derek responded. “Well then son, we’re going to finish this together!”
Limping and weeping, Derek wrapped his arms around his Dad, embracing him for strength, but more importantly, thanking him for his love and compassion. Derek wouldn’t have been able to finish on his own. By this time, the thousands in attendance gave him a standing ovation. It was the most beautiful scene between father and son; His father had come to the rescue. His father saved the day.*
Maybe you are going through something that seams unbearable. Maybe your dreams, goals, or aspirations have been crushed. God sees you. He is running toward you; He is running with you. We can’t do “life” on our own. We can’t depend on our own strength.
“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” You may never win gold. You may feel you don’t have the strength to keep running, to keep jogging, to keep limping. You may finish last, but as long as you let God finish with you, He looks upon you as if you finished first.
Derek’s father was wearing a hat that day. It read, “Just Do It.” God is wearing a similar hat. It reads, “I Can Help You Do It.” Please let Him walk you to the finish line. He is limping across it with you.
* “Derek Redmond: You Raise Me Up,” Youtube.com, accessed December 22, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DDo_KmJVOA.