2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Huffing and puffing to catch my breath, I came to a halt. Wiping sweat off my brow and looking at my watch, I felt a twinge of disappointment wash over me. My pace was slower than normal for our group’s weekly long run. Seven miles done. Trying to figure out what had slowed me down, I began walking toward my car.
“Hey! Wait up!” I heard an unfamiliar voice calling out to me.
Turning around, a woman approached me with a smile on her face. “I was following you the whole time. You’ve got a pretty consistent pace.”
Huh? Someone was following me?
“I’m training for my first half-marathon. I’m excited but very nervous too!”
After introductions, we struck up a conversation and I gave her some tips for training. With five half-marathons under my belt, I felt confident in guiding my new friend on her unfamiliar journey.
No matter what your pace is, there’s always going to be someone running behind you. Brand new runners venturing out for the very first time. Runners lacking confidence. Runners who don’t know what’s up ahead. Runners who are watching your every move to see how you’re running your race. These runners are in the same spot you used to be. Yes, there is someone always running behind you whether you notice them or not.
In our race of faith, there is someone running behind you, dear friend. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the pace of our own race that we forget to stop and turn around to help those running behind us. There are people watching us whether we realize it or not. People who are new Christians just starting out. People who are stuck in a rut and need some encouragement. People walking a path you’ve already navigated through. But do we ever slow down our pre-calculated pace long enough to help someone else? Do we slow down long enough to walk alongside someone who is hurting?
We often may think our pain and suffering is in vain. As genuine followers of Christ, we can testify that God carries us with strength and pours his comfort on us during hard times. He does a work IN us during these seasons. But it doesn’t stop there! He longs to do something THROUGH us. He desires for us to embrace those behind us and point them to Him. To lovingly comfort them. To assure them they’re going to make it. This is what the body of Christ is called to do.
So who’s behind you, dear friend? If you have children, they are watching you whether you realize it or not. What about that young mom with multiple children? You might be an empty-nester who could encourage her with your insight and wisdom. Is there someone at work or in your neighborhood struggling through a season of life you’ve already traveled through? I promise you that you won’t have to look very long. There will always be someone beginning to crawl onto a path you’ve just finished running. Ask God to show you. And don’t be surprised when they soak up your encouragement like a breath of fresh air.
READY? Do you find yourself too preoccupied with your own pace in life? Genuinely pray and ask God to show you who’s behind you at this season of life. What is the next step you can take to pour into that person? If you’re feeling anxious, ask God for his peace!
GET SET. Romans 15:1 “We who are strong in faith should help the weak with their weaknesses, and not please only ourselves.”
GO! Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder of past times when you’ve comforted me through difficult seasons. I praise you for giving me strength. Help me come out of my comfort zone and show me the people you want me to help. Give me courage and wisdom. I long to point others to the power you’ve given me. Amen
Blessings to you!