I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2Tim. 4:7 NIV
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The Apostle Paul had written a letter to Timothy, a usual occurrence with Paul with regards to churches that he had grace to have established in the course of his missionary journeys, and his mentees whom he kept constant touch with to continue to provide direction and support for. There was however something macabre about this portion of his second letter to Timothy. He was practically informing Timothy of his imminent departure from this world. This will definitely not sit well with Timothy but it is a reality that both of them must wake up to. Just as Paul must be aware that there will always be a terminal date for his existence in this realm, Timothy must prepare for those times that the Apostle Paul would not be available, at least physically to continue to offer the quality advises that he was getting from Paul. This is also a reality that every human being must have in order to see life from the proper perspective. To see it from any other perspective is to live a life of self deceit and lack of proper preparation for the life after life.
Everyone who came to the world must acknowledge that they will leave some day, in one manner or the other. The manner of departure will not matter as what will be of importance will be the fate of the soul of the departed after leaving this realm. The Apostle Paul in this chapter stated, that he is being poured out like drink offering and his departure from this realm is drawing near. The comparison with a drink offering implies that, like the excitement that a drink in a bottle provides, especially when it is being used as a form of appeasement, it soon gets emptied and the container will have no value in that respect again. Likewise, the flesh will soon be deprived of all the activity that the body is associated and it will become valueless and this is all because he is getting to the end of his sojourn in this realm. What will it take for you to do same assessment of your tenure in this realm? You are probably one of those people who hate to even think about death, more so wonder where it will meet you and in what condition. Whatever it is that Paul saw is best known to him but the reality is that on a daily basis, every human being is being gradually poured out like a drink offering. At a particular stage of life, we begin to experience diminishing abilities on a daily basis, a situation that we are unable to do anything about. But we really do not even have to wait until this stage of life before realising that people get drained out, sometimes at the peak of life or even before getting to the peak of life. This is a reality that unbelief or denial cannot change so it is better prepared for.
The Apostle Paul seems to have done the most rational thing in the course of his sojourn and this he confidently states in the foundation scripture for today’s devotion. He compares life journey to fighting and racing claiming success in it as all he is waiting for is the reward for being successful which he describes as a crown of righteousness. This is because he was sure he kept the faith. Despite all the challenges he faced fighting the various battles of life and running all the races he needed to run, he remained faithful to the Almighty God and his son Jesus Christ. He never at any moment betrayed them for any reason. He therefore needed no one to tell him that he had won himself a crown for his faithfulness.
How are you running your race? How are you fighting your life battles? Are you faithful to the Almighty God and his son Jesus Christ or have you had cause to deny them? This is not about what people saw or witnessed about how you tackled that life challenge but about how you know you fought it to achieve the success that was seen. Can you really say that success was achieved with you remaining faithful to the Almighty God or did you at some point failed in your faith? People around may be convinced with your attempt to prove that you remained faithful but you know very well that God cannot be deceived. The earlier you are able to honestly do this assessment and effect a correction if and where necessary, the better for you. This is because, whether you are at the growing stage of life, or at the climax of life or you are being poured out, death can show up as it is no respecter of the stage of life that its victim is in. Prepare well for him so that you can be confident like the Apostle Paul that a crown of righteousness has been reserved for you. May that be your portion as you do the needful in Jesus name. Amen.