6”For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”2 Timothy 4:6-8
One of the great races in the cycling calendar is the ‘Liege-Bastogne-Liege’ one day race. 2020’s edition will long be remembered for its finish. Julian Alaphilippe looked like he was certain to win, as the French world champion approached the line with victory in sight he stopped pedalling and raised his arms in celebration. Tour de France runner-up Primoz Roglic however pushed all the way to the line and managed to cross a few small centimetres ahead to win the race.
I was reminded of a great life-lesson as I watched the finish, push all the way to the line. Finish well!
As the apostle Paul comes to the end of his life, he recognises that victory is near. You may think he falls into Alaphilippe’s trap of celebrating too soon. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race”, but Paul is still peddling. He is still serving, albeit in a different way. He is writing to offer wise Christian counsel to young Timothy, he is working to prepare the next generation for gospel labour. (And how many millions of believers have been instructed and encouraged by his words since then?)
As we mature, the way we serve may change. But what matters is that we serve. That we keep on keeping on, peddling away till we cross the line and receive our reward. It can be hard when strength or health begin to flag or fail, but we have every reason to trust that in our weakness the Lord will be pleased to show his strength.
All of us, irrespective of our age or health are limited in what we can do in these Coronavirus days, and yet we can still serve the Lord Jesus. We can keep pedalling away for him. What can you do? Is there someone you can call, or write to, or pray for?
I pray that the Lord would be pleased to encourage us, and that we would encourage one another, in our service for him. Now and always.
Yours in His service