When Jeff learned that his mother’s health was rapidly declining, he immediately caught a plane to be with her. He sat at her bedside holding her hand, singing hymns, comforting her, and expressing his love for her. She passed away, and at her funeral many told Jeff what a blessing his mother had been. She was gifted in Bible teaching, counseling others, and leading prayer groups. These were vital parts of serving Christ until near the end of her life. She finished strong for Christ.
To honor his mother’s life, Jeff participated in a 26.2 mile race. During the race he thanked God for her life and grieved her loss. When he crossed the finish line, Jeff pointed his index finger toward heaven—“Where Mom is,” he said. She had honored Christ to the end, which reminded him of the words of the apostle Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord . . . will give to me on that Day” (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
We are involved in a “long-distance race.” Let’s run in such a way that we may obtain the prize of “an imperishable crown” (1 Cor. 9:25). What could be more desirable than to finish strong for Christ and to be with Him forever.
Lift up your eyes and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path and Christ the prize. —Monsell