Online Articles

Online Articles

Find Your Jim Redmond

It was the summer of 1992, and the Olympic games were being held in

Barcelona, Spain. There was one particular afternoon that Great Britain’s

Derek Redmond took to the track and competed in the men’s 400m

semifinal. It was about 200m into the race that Derek Redmond felt the

intense pain of a torn hamstring, prompting him to tumble to the ground.

With a determination to finish the race, and out of sheer pride for his

country, he picked himself up and continued to hobble around the track.

After about 100m of hobbling, you could tell the pain was overtaking him,

and he would not be able to finish the race on his own. It was at that point

his father, Jim Redmond, came rushing out of the stands and onto the

track, wrapping his arm around his son to carry him the last 100m. Medical

and security personnel attempted to nudge the father away and take hold of

the runner, but he began to swat them away, determined to help his son

finish the race. And so, for that last 100m Jim never left his son’s side, as

they both walked across the finish line. While Derek Redmond may not

have qualified for the 400m final, he experienced a moment and learned

something that will last far longer than a medal hanging around his neck.


Have you ever experienced a time in your life, when you felt as if you could

never finish the race? If you live this crazy thing called life long enough,

you will have that feeling more than once. I myself am not immune to such

moments, and I know no one reading this is either. Whether it’s losing the

job you’ve had for so many years, the bad medical report you received, or

even the loss of someone you loved, we experience all kinds of things in our

lives that cause us to get knocked down. There will come a time when we

ourselves cannot continue on alone, but that’s ok because frankly we were

never meant to run this race alone. Just so we all understand, this is not me

trying to absolve the individual from responsibility, and saying that we can

have other people run our race for us, but we all need that little extra bit of

help in getting through this race. But in order to get this help, we have to

first find that source(s) of strength.


One of those sources of strength can come from other people. Throughout

my life there have been times that I found myself needing someone there to

renew my strength, and thankfully I have a Godly wife, who is always

someone I can turn to when I need help. Proverbs 31 says, “An excellent

wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her

husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good,

and not harm, all the days of her life” (verses 10-12). But you know there

were times where she and I collectively needed help to get through life, and

that’s when we were blessed to find strength from our family. If you think

about it, the first people we rely upon in life are our parents and our

immediate family, because from the moment we are born, we need them in

order to survive those early years. Now as time goes on, the sort of help you

need from your family evolves, but they can always be a great source of

strength. However, not everyone who is reading this has the same sort of

ability to receive help from their physical family for whatever reason that

might be, but as Christians we are blessed to also have a spiritual family

that we can lean upon. In fact, the apostle Paul admonished and charged

the church in Thessalonica to, “therefore encourage one another and build

one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The church

that meets here at Cedar Park has been one of the greatest sources of

strength for not only myself but countless others who needed to be lifted

up. You’ll come to find that some of the most unlikely people end up having

the biggest impact on your race, but praise be to God for the church family

that meets here.


As much as your spouse and your family, both physical and spiritual, are

great sources of strength, I would be remiss not to mention where our

greatest source of strength comes from. I think it was best said in Psalm

18:2, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my

rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my

stronghold.” We will never be able to run this race without the strength that

comes from God, and until we come to that realization, we might be able to

limp through our race for a time like Derek Redmond did for those 100m.

But in the end, we will not be able to finish our race. One of my favorite

passages comes from Isaiah chapter 40 that says, “He gives power to the

faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall

faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait

for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like

eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint”

(verses 29-31). God is always there to renew our strength and to pick us up,

but my prayer for you is that you see his outstretched arms and lean on

Him for the strength you need to run your race.

- Caleb White