It is almost summer. More days are filled with sun unhindered by clouds. Baby birds are flying free from their nests. Hummingbirds are flitting about the flowers. The earth has bloomed. Yet the world seems to grow darker. In the past few months, we have seen a virus take away thousands of lives and hate fuel heartless attacks. Anxiety and depression have spread. Tensions rise and fires continue to smoulder. The world is aching.
A few weeks ago, the crisp spring air motivated me to go on a run. On a normal day, I would run between 2 and 3 miles, but I barely made it to 1. Fatigue soon overcame my aspiration to continue. My longing to walk was relentless. At the half-mile mark, I turned around and looked down the road to home. Our crooked white mailbox became my beacon of hope, pleading with me to run one more step. Seconds after I made the turn home, my earbuds sounded with the song “Almost Home.” I smiled to myself when I heard the words, and soon, they held a much deeper meaning to me.
After that run, I understood what Paul meant when he paralleled the Christian life to a race in numerous verses. Races are demanding; the road is scattered with ruts and hills. Runners face little reprieve.
But you know the one thing that keeps every runner going? The finish line. Home.
In life, we must endure suffering. We watch the world grow darker, but only for a short time. Our hope, knowing that we are almost home, should drive us to run well, to endure. As we see hate in the world, we must shine our beacons of love. As we see others oppressed, we are called to lift them up. As we see others cry, we are called to share their tears. In a world marked by sin, we are called to share our Savior. Yes, the road may be hard, but when focused on Christ, we can have joy in abundance. We have peace. We have purpose. We can persevere with a song in our hearts. Don’t forget: we are almost home.
“Are you disappointed
Are you desperate for help
You know what it’s like to be tired
And only a shell of yourself
Well you start to believe
You don’t have what it takes
‘Cause it’s all you can do
Just to move much less finish the race
But don’t forget what lies ahead
Well this road will be hard
But we win in the end
Simply because of Jesus in us
It’s not if but when
So take joy in the journey
Even when it feels long
Oh find strength in each step
Knowing heaven is cheering you on
I know that the cross has brought heaven to us
But make no mistake there’s still more to come
When our flesh and our bone are no longer between
Where we are right now and where we’re meant to be
When all that’s been lost has been made whole again
When these tears and this pain no longer exist
No more walking we’re running as fast as we can
Consider this our second wind
Brother it won’t be long
Soon all your burdens will be gone
With all your strength
Sister run wild, run free
Hold up your head
Keep pressing on
We are almost home“
– “Almost Home” by MercyMe