In a relay race, former procrastinators, one team member passes a baton to another. The hand-off is crucial. Each runner must have a firm grip on the baton for a brief moment, then one releases the baton at the right instant so that his teammate can quickly run on with it. No one breaks stride.
Spiritually, those who run before we do pass the baton of faith to us. My friend Mary who passed away ran before me. The baton is now in my hand and the hands of others in whom she invested.
It’s true that death brought unwanted finality to part of life I hold dear. God used Mary to show me His beauty and wisdom, His holiness and power. She helped me find freedom from binding weights. She deepened my desire for God’s Word for study and memorization. She showed me how to be a prayer warrior. All these things continue. Bill and Mary’s teaching and example show me how to stay in the race.
We see a kind of race in our family generations. When my grandmother passed away, I was sobered to think that then my mom became the senior generation. Now I’m the senior generation. This spot in life is a privilege and a responsibility. Similarly, in Christ we believers of all ages are teammates, each with a call to run. Being faithful in our portion of the race enables those after us to run well too.
I prayed the Lord would heal Mary and have her continue with us (me) for our progress and joy in the faith. He took her home to heaven which is better by far. To die was gain for her. That leaves me and others to live in the flesh and have fruitful labor for Him. We continue here for the progress and joy in the faith of others who are running. (Philippians 1:21-26)
My dear friend is no longer running the race. She is in the heavenly stands cheering me and many others on just as she was cheered on by those who trained her. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
What a heritage the Lord has given us! What a heritage we must pass on! Let us not break stride.
Who has encouraged your growth in Christ and whose do you encourage?