How good it feels to finish a task! The feeling of accomplishment motivates one with renewed vigor to tackle the next challenge. How much greater it must feel to reach the end of one’s life and be satisfied that the work God has given one to do has been done.
How is that even possible? After saying he has completed the race and kept the faith, the apostle Paul gives us a hint.
Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day – and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:8 NET
We distance runners can only reach the finish line by setting our affection on Christ’s appearing, on his return for his people.
Paul died before Christ returned. But the prospect of the Lord’s appearing, all the events that he will set in motion, are what animated Paul all his life. He most certainly felt no disappointment that Christ had not yet appeared. Every moment offered the possibility. Every day enlivened his soul with its hope.
The Christian lives with the same excitement of meeting the Lord in the air.
Have you looked up today?
Come, O Lord, let glorious clouds part for your appearance! We would rise with you today.
Hold this thought: Then and there makes here and now bearable.