Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Finishing Well

Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’” Luke 23:34. “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’” John 19:26b-27. “Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:43.

When my father-in-law lived with us his final year on earth it was probably one of the toughest and most challenging times of my life. That experience held up a mirror showing me w...ho I really was and who I was not. More times than not, I didn’t like the person staring back from the mirror. She seemed resentful…looked exhausted…reflected something different than what I had always seen her to be. But I learned so much about myself and my motivation that year. Nothing intentional was revealed but more of a mask of myself that was slowly lowered in the face of my circumstances. It gave me an amazing opportunity to see areas in my heart that needed transforming through the help of the Holy Spirit. I remember continuing to say to myself and my husband, ‘I just want to finish well.’ The only thing harder than saying those words was walking out those words. 

Finishing well…an impossible feat in our own abilities. Thankfully, we have been given a Forerunner of finishing well in Jesus. The three verses above are things Jesus said from the cross. He finished well by looking up to God and asking for mercy for those taking His life. He finished well by looking down from the cross…beaten and exhausted…concerned for the future of His mother and closest friend and student, John. He finished well by looking to His side with comfort and promise to the criminal who deserved to be crucified. Love was at the base of these examples. Love promotes life and faith finishes well. 

Long middles and slow endings are far harder than hopeful beginnings. Beginning well is easy. Finishing well is hard’ Loving to the End, Leigh McLeroy. Only God will determine if I finished well but I know I loved Bud and had faith in the process. There have been other times when finishing well is/was my heart’s desire, some have now passed and some are reserved for the future. I’m sure you also know all about long middles and slow endings as you walk out your journey. So, I will end this on the final words of this article:

Those of us who long to imitate our Savior…will dig in, dive deep, swallow hard, and keep on loving. We will choose to finish all things well and know the hard joy of doing so. It is a joy that far outweighs the fleeting relief of stopping short, shutting down, and checking out. We have everything we need to finish well. After all, He showed us how it’s done’ Leigh McLeroy.

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