Finish Well

Originally published Tuesday, 06 March 2012.

One of my greatest flaws is giving up on things too soon. I typically start things strong. But all to often, I don’t know how to finish well.

As I’ve uncovered this uncomfortable truth in my life, I’ve also learned an important lesson:

In the depths of each of us is a great need to push through to the end.

A few months ago my husband ran his second marathon. He trained for months.

His goal was to qualify for the Boston marathon, such an elite goal for runners. But in order to do this he had a very specific running pace he needed to be on during the entire racecourse.

On race morning, my three girls and I headed out to the finish line. We had posters, cowbells and pom-poms to cheer my husband on. Throughout the morning I was anxiously looking at my watch, knowing his needed pace time and hoping that he would come through at his goal.

About twenty minutes before his goal time, we watched the winner of the marathon come through with police escort. The crowd roared as he seemingly effortlessly dashed to the finish.

Our anticipation was building. Would he make his goal? As more runners headed toward the finish line appeared, we would all shout, "Maybe that's Daddy! Is it him?"

Then, his qualifying pace time for Boston appeared on the clock and there was no sign of him.

I was so worried about his feelings of disappointment; he had trained so hard.

About five minutes later… we saw him turn the corner, in his bright orange shirt and exhausted smile.

My girls and I became the loudest cheering squad at the marathon finish line. The last few yards of the race, we all got behind him and ran like crazy. We cheered him all the way to the finish line!

Even though my husband didn't win or even meet his goal, he had accomplished something great. It was a powerful moment in his life.

He finished well.

In everything we do, whether we choose it or not, there is a finish point.

~ The day the last baby leaves the nest.

~ The moment we resign from a job.

~ The place where say our “goodbye.”

Seasons come and seasons go but the faithfulness of our God equips us to finish well.

Beneath the layers of frustration or fear when a season ends is this thread of courage from our God. This unchanging God who sees our efforts and hard work in each season and prepares us to move to the next.

While we may not feel like victorious marathon runners crossing a finishing line, we can rest our souls that our God is there, pushing us through to the end.

With His strength, His wisdom and His guidance we can… finish seasons well.

Today I wonder... is there a season of life near end and you are feeling discouraged? If so, I understand what that’s like. While it’s tempting to quit before it’s finished, today I want to encourage you to lean into the faithfulness of God and… finish well.

He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding.
Daniel 2:21