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Battered. Bruised. Beaten. Last of the bunch, bringing up the rear. But at this point, crossing the finish line is all that matters.

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The bruises only speak of battles fought. Some battles we engage in; others we observe, as the Great Deliverer does battle on our behalf. And scars merely give evidence of wounds earned (by not slinking away from the fight)… lending proof to God’s healing power.

There will be another One in eternity bearing scars… marks to identify His humanity, stained with blood Divine.

We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  –  Romans 5:3-5

Finish the race. Stand firm through each battle. Whether win or lose, we know Who ultimately wins the war. The determining factor is whose side we’re on.

Remember, others are watching, gaining strength from our determination. Or stumbling behind our inconsistencies.

Choose whom you will serve and then serve with all you’ve got. In the end those who finish will not be disappointed.

You may leave this earth with a huge celebration, or with only a handful of mourners at the graveside. No matter. Leave a legacy of not quitting… of persevering… even when it looks impossible, when no one else believes… or supports… or cares.

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Our eyes are so full of earth, we forget every experience has a facet of eternity etched into it. We forget the really important stuff of life is found in relationships, in our responses to the stuff life hands us, in our determining to love Him unconditionally the same way He loves you and me, unconditionally, unwaveringly, unceasingly.

Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved…

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him…

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (this means, pause and reflect)…

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God. Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work.  –  Psalm 62

The reward comes to the ones who reach the other side, to those who finish. But the first step into eternity is only the beginning…

But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.  –  I Corinthians 2:9

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  –  Romans 8:37-39

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That’s all on this subject for now, dear friend.  I hope it’s been encouraging. I think it gives us both more than enough to ponder for a while.  So, in the meantime, keep looking up.

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