Allyson, my then 20-year-old daughter, and I were very excited to hike Runyon Canyon in LA. So many people had told us that it was a “must do” so we were pumped about finally getting the chance to do it; however, we didn’t realize there were several different courses to the top, and we somehow ended up on the more advanced trail. Scary. Ally, who is 25 years younger than I am and in very good shape, was even huffing and puffing a little as we made our way up the steep inclines. I had gone way past huffing and puffing. If I could have caught my breath, I would have told Ally that I wanted to stop and rest for a bit, but I didn’t have enough energy or air to try and holler for her as she hiked ahead. I felt as though the hikers who passed by on their way down were secretly mocking me, and I was too proud to give up before reaching the top. I wanted to take that all-important Runyon Canyon selfie, documenting the fact that I had actually completed the hike, and on the advanced trail at that! Still, as the sun beat down, I wanted to give up. Just then, I made eye contact with one of those hikers on the way back down the trail. She must have sensed my desperation because she smiled and encouraged, “You’re almost there!” With that piece of needed information, I had hope once again so I put one Nike in front of the other, and pressed on. Turns out, that helpful hiker was correct—I was almost to the top. I just didn’t know it. I was able to finish and arrive at my destination just moments later. Honestly, if she hadn’t shared that important tidbit of information, I might have quit just shy of my goal. I would’ve missed out on that feeling of accomplishment, and I never would’ve had the chance to take the celebratory Runyon Canyon selfie. Most importantly, I would have missed out on sharing that magical moment with my daughter.
That experience made me wonder how many times in life I had quit right before my breakthrough. I wondered how many times I might’ve missed out on something amazing because I threw in the towel too soon. How about you? Have you also been guilty of quitting when circumstances aren’t ideal or when a situation gets too tough? Apparently we’re not alone. Minister of the gospel and sports enthusiast, Chip Brim, shared a vision that God had given him. The Lord showed him thousands of Christians running down the football field. They started off strong, running with all of their might, striving toward their goal. But when they reached the one-yard line, they fell to the ground. Not one of them made it across the goal line to score that all-important touchdown. Instead, they all perished right there—one yard from their destiny. Chip asked the Lord, “Why? What happened?” God told him, “They gave up too soon. They threw in the towel. They didn’t know how close they were…” So, my friends, if you’ve fallen down on the one-yard line—get back up. Ask God to help you. He will do His part if you’ll do yours. Just don’t give up. Keep pressing toward your goals! Because here’s the good news—you’re almost there!Pray this with me: Father, help me to stay on course and remain encouraged so that I don’t quit—no matter how hard it gets. Thank You, Lord, for equipping me with everything I need—spiritually and physically—to finish well. In the Name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.
“But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NASB)