Refuse To Give Up

Refuse To Give Up | July 2nd, 2024

In 1968, the Olympic Games took place in Mexico City. During the marathon, Tanzanian runner John Akhwari fell early in the race, dislocating a knee and injuring a shoulder. Despite the pain, he continued and even walked for long stretches. When night fell and the course was dark, Akhwari persevered. As Akhwari entered the stadium to finish the race's last leg, only a few thousand people in the stands were left from a crowd of over 100,00—the stadium lights were off. All the media had gone, and the winners had already been awarded their medals. Even so, Akhwari was determined to finish, so he continued and crossed the finish line. After the race, reporters were dumbfounded that Akhwari kept running, considering how significant his injuries were and the fact that the race was essentially over. He responded, "My country sent me 5,000 miles to these Olympic Games to finish the race."
We can learn a lot from Akhwari's focus and desire to finish. Sure, we will have reasons to stop running and quit. For example, who would've faulted the young Tanzanian runner if he did drop out? Instead, Akhwari didn't allow any thoughts of quitting to control him. He told the media that quitting was never an option. Again, this runner was determined because he felt an obligation to his country to not only start the race but to finish it.
Just as Akhwari had a compelling motivation to run and finish the physical race, we, too, have a divine motivation to run and finish the 'race of life.' God didn't send His Son to save us only for His people to quit. His desire is for us to flourish and finish the race.
Scripture declares the following encouragement:
Romans 8:11: "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you."
Romans 8:37: "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
Philippians 4:13: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
Knowing this, let us draw upon the strength that comes exclusively from Christ to finish the race and never give up!
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