Gold and Grace

As I watched the Olympics last night and saw a male gymnast struggle on the Pommel Horse and a male swimmer swim his 100 meters 1/100 of a second faster than his competitor, the amazing grace of God struck me yet again.The Olympic gold medals don’t always go to the best in the world – or the fastest and hardest working athletes — but the best at that moment.One mistake and you are out of the competition and someone else stands on the podium.The Olympics reward the best routine, the best race, the best performance on the field.

That standard is great if you are perfect.It stinks if you are having a bad day and unfortunately, everyone has bad days.Nobody is perfect all the time, and therefore there is always the risk that on any given day the competitors for the prize will forfeit the goal they’ve spent their lives preparing for due to a momentary indiscretion or misstep.The years of effort, sacrifice and training are erased because of a 2-point deduction, a poorly timed stroke, a missed foul shot or a baton drop.

All of this brings me back to the amazing grace of God.God, because of His vast goodness, has determined that everyone on His team who expends the effort, makes the sacrifice and endures the training wins the prize.He knows that no one is perfect and so He ran the perfect race for us, executed the perfect routine for us, navigated the waters perfectly for us and THEN invited us to join Him on the podium to enjoy the blessing of being united with Him.When we compete in the arena of the culture, on our own, sometimes we will win and oftentimes we will lose.Diminishing strength and lapses of judgment are bound to get us all.But if we allow Christ to become our trail-blazer, running the race before us and we remain content to simply run after him, then we are able to taste the sweet savor of victory.

It is unfortunate that not everyone can medal at the Olympics. What a blessing to know, however, that every person who dies to self and lives for Christ is more than a conqueror through Him.


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