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Better than Olympic gold

I must confess I’m sad this week . . . the Olympics are over.

For the last two weeks my family sat down, together with the rest of the world, and we watched the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

We watched the American women win the team gold in gymnastics.

We watched the flying squirrel, Gabby Douglas, win gold in the women’s all around gymnastics.

We watched synchronized platform diving – are you kidding me?

We watched a South African man; Oscar Pistorius (aka “The Blade Runner” who BTW reminded me of Mr. Tumnus from The Chronicles of Narnia) run using two prosthetic legs and compete on equal footing (no pun intended) with those who have two good legs.

We watched Michael Phelps win more medals than any other Olympic athlete, ever.

We watched the American women’s soccer team win gold.

We watched Usain Bolt win three gold medals as the fastest man in the world.

But then I wondered, what if when Gabby Douglas, Oscar Pistorius, Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt got tired midway through their race or swim or beam routine they just stopped?

Or what if after all the early mornings of getting up and the daily grind of training these past four years leading up to the Olympics they just stopped? They would have missed out on enjoying the fruit of their hard work.

Then I, like I often do, started to think about Pathway.

How many of you are working hard in ministry? Serving? Loving? Giving?

How many of you serving in Pathfinder Kids are wondering, “What difference am I making?”

How many of you serving on the Pathmakers set-up team at 7am each Sunday wonder, “Where’s the fruit in this from getting up early each week and coming and sweating?”

How many of you are serving as an usher or greeter wondering, “Does what I do matter?”

How many are you are serving as a Community Group leader or as a Youth Ministry volunteer, or Pathfinder Kids volunteer wondering, “Why am I doing this?”

What would happen if when you got tired you stopped? Stopped serving, stopped loving others, stopped praying, stopped volunteering - just stopped?

The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest.”

Did you catch that?

If you do not give up when you are tired, but persevere in prayer, and in loving others, and sharing the gospel; and if you keep going when the going gets tough, if you keep serving when the other person is hard to serve, if you keep obeying when it’s hard to obey, you will get to enjoy the fruit of your labor.

But here’s the thing, God oversees the harvest, not us. And he has an appointed time when the fruit is ready to be harvested. And when you persevere in doing good, you get the privilege of experiencing the fruit of your labor at God’s appointed time.

Yet the opposite is also true. If you give up and stop serving others, stop loving others, stop praying for others - you will miss the harvest. You will not experience the fruit of your labor done by faith in the Lord.

So what’s it going to be? Give up and miss the harvest? Or press on trusting God to bring about a harvest at his appointed time? I know what I’m choosing (And it’s gonna’ be better than gold)!

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