Leaning on God By KAT LEE
Leaning on God
“The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)
As soon as he heard the gun, Derek ran as fast as his legs would carry him. A lifetime of hard work had come down to this moment.
It was the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, and Derek Redmond was Great Britain’s best hope for a medal in the 400-meter race. He started well, but at the 200-meter mark in the semifinal race, he suddenly collapsed in a heap on the ground, writhing in pain. As the other athletes passed him, leaving his hopes in their dust, Derek wrestled with the agony of a ripped hamstring.
Everything he’d worked for his entire life had ended. In an instant, his failure was final.
Derek wouldn’t win the race. He wouldn’t win an Olympic medal. It was over.
But as the other runners completed the race, Derek made a decision. He wouldn’t win, but he would finish.
Struggling to his feet, tears streaming down his face, Derek gripped his leg and began hobbling alone toward the finish line nearly 200 meters away. He took step after excruciating step, determined to finish what he had started all those years ago.
Slowly the crowd realized what was happening. A wave of cheers spread throughout the stadium, and by the hundreds, spectators rose to their feet. The announcers barely acknowledged the winner of the race, too choked up with emotion and focused on the greater story happening at 200-meters.
Then something even more incredible happened. There was a small commotion in the crowd. A man a little older (and a little grayer) than Derek pushed his way down to the railing. He jumped over the railing and on to the track, fighting past security guards and officials as he ran to his broken and beaten son. Derek’s father wrapped his arms around him in support and spoke words of love, hope and courage over him. You could see the relief wash over Derek’s face as he leaned on his father.
Together, they crossed the finish line.
Later, reporters swarmed the elder Mr. Redmond and asked what inspired him to push through the crowd, fight past security, and jump on to the track with his son. Mr. Redmond simply said, “I intended to go over the line with him. We started his career together; I think we should finish it together.”
It’s easy to believe the lie that we struggle alone. That somehow, in the midst of our failures, we can’t come close to the Father. That He’s distant and stands off at the finish line awaiting our triumphant victory.
But Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us of the truth: “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Friend, this is true no matter where we are on our journeys with God. No matter how many times we’ve tried to spend time with Him, pray, or read His Word consistently and felt as if we’ve failed. No matter how broken and beaten we feel, we are never alone.
No, our faithful Father is fighting to come alongside us in the journey. He’s pushing past all the discouragements and distractions. Speaking words of love, hope and courage over us. He wraps His arms around us and walks side-by-side with us.
He knows us, our biggest dreams, our secret hopes and our desperate prayers. God offers a daily invitation to lean on Him instead of stumbling through life on our own.
There is a story He wants to redeem in each of our lives, a race He wants to run with us. All we need to do is lean on Him. Morning by morning.
Heavenly Father, thank You for meeting us where we are. May we relentlessly lean into You each morning. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND: What small steps can you take each morning to lean on God before the busyness of the day hits? Consider praying Psalm 143:8. Print it out, and tape it on your mirror for daily inspiration.