Your daily Olympic devotional
A snippet from a new sports devotional, The Spirit of Victory. Available through your favourite bookstore.
Keep walking - Isaiah 40:31
When I studied teaching at University, I quickly made friends with Jared who lived locally and was a very fit runner. One day after class Jared asked me if I wanted to go for a jog. We ran for about eight kilometers at a frantic pace. At the end of the eight-kilometer circuit, I was completely exhausted. I had spent every ounce of energy just trying to keep up.
I was lying on the ground, puffing and panting and Jared said to me, “Want to go for another lap?” I went home, Jared ran the course again and I guess that’s why he became an Olympic Gold Medalist.
In 2008 at the Beijing Olympics Jared Tallent burst onto the sporting scene. He won a bronze medal in the 20-kilometer walk and a silver medal in the 50-kilometer walk. In 2012 Jared completed the 50-kilometer walk in 3 hours and 36 minutes winning another silver medal.
It was difficult for Tallent to accept the result; he had long suspected the winner of being a drug cheat. It took four long years but eventually, Tallent was vindicated. The winner was disqualified and Tallent was upgraded to the gold medal and Olympic record holder. It was a long walk to gold. There must have been days that Tallent thought he would never receive his gold medal; that justice would never come.
Just like a walking race, Jared continued step after step with great patience and determination.
The nation of Israel had been crushed by the Babylonian exile. Some must have wondered if their exile would ever end, if God would ever restore his people. Isaiah 40 is a chapter of comfort for God’s people weary and wounded by exile. The chapter finishes by encouraging God’s people to put their hope in the Lord and in their weakness look to God for strength.
If you're going through a challenging time right now; don’t give up and don’t despair. Jared Tallent eventually got his gold medal and God’s people were delivered from exile in God’s timing.
God will not leave you in this difficult season forever; it’s a season that will eventually pass. Don’t rely on your own strength and your own wisdom to get yourself through a difficult time, rather turn your eyes to God’s strength and seek his wisdom.
God can use difficult times in our lives to teach us things that we might not learn any other way. Use this time to wait upon him, to rest in his goodness, to remember his faithfulness, and to trust that he will work all things together for the good of those who love him.
Keep walking towards that Hope.
BIO - Travis Barnes
Travis Barnes lives in central Victoria with his wife and two daughters. He is a contributor for Christian Today and a sportswriter.