Do not quit!
Levi Lusko is one of my favorite authors and preachers. He commonly wraps his messages around historic events or wildlife. The illustrations tend to stick with me. Here is one he shared recently. I was struck with the importance of the message from a spiritual angle and thought you might enjoy it too.
I want to shout this message!
Florence Chadwick was an American swimmer known for long-distance open water swimming. She was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions, setting a time record each time. She was also the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel, the Straits of Gibraltar, the Bosporus (one way), and the Dardanelles (round trip).
The first time Florence was swimming the English Channel, a heavy fog settled in and she lost her way. She swam and swam until it came time to call it quits. She was exhausted. Imagine her discouragement after all that work! After the fog lifted, however, her discouragement plummeted further.*
She had ended her swim only one mile from shore.
Let me repeat. She had ended her swim only one mile from the finish line. How incredibly heartbreaking. After all that training and effort! If she had known there was only one mile to go, this trained athlete most certainly would have mustered the strength to finish.
We, too, are only one mile from shore.
Our Bible repeatedly tells us that end of our life is never far away.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1Peter 4:7-9 – emphasis mine)
Compared to eternity, our life is a blink.
Heaven is not far away, it is near. Jesus is not returning years from now, but “tomorrow.” If I told you all of your problems….all of them…were going to disappear tonight at midnight, you would relax and handle your difficulties with greater patience and peace. The nearness of the deadline would change your “today.”
Our destination is near.
This blink of a life is riddled with hardship. Right now I am exhausted and my prayer list is full: my friend with cancer, my friend recently widowed, my friend who just completed an arduous move to another state during which her mother became extremely ill, another friend in deep pain over how she is treated in the workplace. Like Florence, we can find ourselves feeling directionless and utterly exhausted in a fog. We can find ourselves unable to see, but the shoreline is right there, everyone.
[Picture me pointing to a visible shoreline.]
We can’t quit right next to the finish line.
Picture Explanation: Sand is hard to walk in. It slows us down. Steps are more difficult than on smooth and firm terrain. But don’t confuse the difficulty and fatigue of travel with length of travel. We don’t have much further to walk. Truth is, with eyes of faith we can see the shoreline the entire way to the water’s edge, to the shoreline of the thin veil between being present here and present with the Lord. Squint your eyes of faith. See it?
*Levi’s story appears in other sources as well, like HERE.
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