By Kristen Entwistle
At the championship meet in my senior year in college, I had the chance to break a record: the 200 yard butterfly. On a good day, the 200 fly was hard. On a day where I had already raced the mile freestyle, the 1000 yard freestyle the day before, and one relay – it was near impossible. During the preliminary heats that morning, I felt alright – my arms were hurting by the end of the race, but it was the end of the season and I knew I just had to make it to the final heats that night. I made it to the finals, but when I stepped up behind that block, I knew I had nothing left.
My coaches came up to me before the race and said, “I know you can do this. Keep your head down, don’t breathe, and just swim like I know you know how to.” I looked at my coach and I said, “Coach, I want to break this record. But I have nothing left. I don’t even know if I can finish this race.” My coach looked at me and said, “Go out there and swim. I’ll be proud of you no matter what. And look – your teammates are all at the end of the lane, ready to cheer you on. Go get ‘em, Scarecrow.”
There was a giant in my way that day – in the form of 200 yards of butterfly. One start. Seven turns. Eight laps. One finish. One. More. Race.
As I put on my goggles, I prayed, “God, just give me the strength to finish this race. I want to finish strong.” I stepped up onto the block, and at the gun, I gave it all I had. It wasn’t near enough to break the record, but that mountain in my way was removed. It was a hard climb, and I fought for every breath, every stroke, every turn. But with God, I was able to finish. There’s no way I could have touched that wall without His strength.
Today in our Hebrews study, we come to David, Samuel and the prophets, who faced giants of their own. David faced a literal giant and some figurative ones, while Samuel and the prophets faced many figurative giants. Their faith in the God of the Universe gave them the victory over these giants, and ultimately brought the glory back to the One in whom it belongs: God.
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