14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy (Romans 9).
At that very moment when we chose to follow Jesus, it was because of God’s mercy working on our will to make that desire irresistible. All the while we are running after Him, it is because of God’s mercy compelling our hearts to make the effort. In the end, it’s about God’s mercy — it’s always about God’s mercy. In short, without God’s mercy we would never start the race, nor finish it either.
I saw a clip recently on Facebook of an Olympic runner pulling up lame in the middle of a race, falling to the ground in agony, clutching the pulled hamstring that had failed him. Finally, as he begins to get up, a lone figure suddenly approaches from the side, stoops down, places his shoulder under his arm, lifts him up, and begins walking him along the track toward the finish line. An official comes trying to shoo them away off the track, but the man pushes him aside and continues to render aid to the fallen runner. He would not be dissuaded. Why? It was his father.
Lord, we thank You This Day for Your faithful and tender mercies toward us. As we run our races today, we acknowledge our absolute need for Your aid, so that we might run in a way that is worthy of our calling and honoring to You. Amen.