Pastor’s Corner: “With the Father’s Help”
Galatians 5:25 (NIV) – 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
The Greek word for “comforter” is parakletos, which literally means one called alongside to help. This was beautifully illustrated in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Derek Redmund was favored to win the 400 meter race however disappointment came halfway into the race when his hamstring tore. As stretcher bearers made their way over to him, he knew that he wanted to finish the race, and continued to hobble along the track with pain etched upon his face. With no hope of placing, Derek refused to quit. As the crowd stood holding its collective breath, suddenly a man raced out of the stands and ran to Derek. This man placed his arm around the injured runner and arm-in-arm the two of them made it across the finish line. The man was Derek’s father. What a vivid example of living out the Christian life!
In the race of life, God our heavenly Father has come alongside us through the Person of the Holy Spirit. And when we think we can’t go one more step He puts His everlasting arms around us, and gently walks with us to the finish. Isn’t that just like our Father God who’s there for us when we get hurt and wounded in the race and we’re struggling to carry on? He’s there to support us and help us over the finishing line if we let him. Perhaps we don’t always call on Him as often as we should. It reminds me of the lyrics from the song ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus’: “Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer “ Romans 8:25-27 (ESV) – 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Are you overwhelmed? Do you feel like life has handed you more than you can handle or that you’ve been called to accomplish more than you can? It may be that right now you’re struggling to finish. You were running OK, but now you’re hurting, you’re limping, you’re wounded, maybe disillusioned. You’re burning out, you’re wearing out, and you feel like dropping out. You look down the track at the ground you’ve still got to cover, and you wonder if you can possibly make it feeling like this. It hurts so bad, you’re so depleted, and it’s tempting to give up your calling, or your marriage, your commitment, your loved one, your dream.
But someone very strong has left the stands to join you on the field. He’s your Heavenly Father who loves you passionately and unconditionally. And His arm is around you. God the Father is hugging His wounded child. After all, He did say, He is a “very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He knows you can’t finish the race alone. Listen to Him as He says, “My child, we’re going to finish this together.” Isaiah 46:3-4 (AMP) – 3 “Listen to Me,” [says the Lord], “O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been carried by Me from your birth And have been carried [in My arms] from the womb, 4 Even to your old age I am He, And even to your advanced old age I will carry you! I have made you, and I will carry you; Be assured I will carry you and I will save you.
You literally may not have the strength or the spirit to even walk another step. That’s why His promise is so precious, “I have made you and I will carry you.” When a child can walk no further, what does he say, “Daddy, carry me.” That’s what God’s waiting for you to say. That worn out child can go farther and faster in his father’s arms than he could ever go on his own feet. So can you – in your Heavenly Father’s arms. You can finish the race you started, not with your resources, but because your Almighty Father is saying, “We’re going to finish this together!”
In His Grace,