In August 1992 at the Barcelona Summer Olympics, Derrick Redmond from Great Britain was favored to win the 400 meter race. But as he powered around the backstretch, his hamstring snapped. Derrick tried desperately to finish the race, but he still had half the distance to go. Because he couldn’t walk, he began to hop. One step — a grimace. Two steps — a yell. Jim Redmond, Derrick’s dad, had to get to his struggling son. He doesn’t remember all the steps down from section 131, row 22, seat 25 of the Olympic stadium. He doesn’t really remember leaping over the railing or pushing off security guards who were too stunned to stop him. He was not just a spectator at the Olympics anymore; Jim Redmond was a father, and he had to get to his son. “Dad,” Derrick said, “Dad …Get me back to lane five. I want to finish.”God wants to help us finish our race. Click To Tweet
And leaning on each other, father and son made their way around the track as the crowd rose to their feet cheering, and the whole world watched. Olympic organizers can light the skies with fireworks, they can invite kings and queens, but this was the magic of real life. That day people saw an example of great courage, but they witnessed an even greater story about love. Derrick’s father was wearing a Nike hat that said “Just do it.” As we run the race God’s called us to run and we stumble, limp or fall, it won’t be long before we feel the Holy Spirit’s hand on our shoulders helping us to finish our race! This is powerful, because if we are endeavoring to run our race for God and accomplish his purpose for our lives, even when we fall (and we will, because Proverbs 24:16 NKJV says, “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity,”) you will feel a hand on your shoulder that will comfort you, counsel you, help you, and be a “stand by” for you.
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Proverbs 24:16 (NKJV)
For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.
Luke 15:20-24 (NKJV)
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[b] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
1 John 3:1 (NKJV)
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.