Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Live In The However

How Will I Finish?

“Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste death but once.”~Julius Caesar

You know how I love a good quote. There’s something genius in the way a simple concept can be expressed through imagery created by words.

Think about how many times you’ve confronted death or defeat, yet how many times did you actually die? Hmmmm. I’m still here and—since you’re reading this—you are, too. J

The more important question may be: What does my life represent?

Am I a spiritual coward or has my Christian witness been strengthened because of my reaction to trials?

As with quotes, I love it when I “stumble” upon what I refer to as an (in)consequential word in the Bible.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

When the Apostle Paul contemplated his return to Jerusalem, he met with friends and fellow believers. They warned him of the dangers he faced, but the Holy Spirit had already enlightened Paul. He recalled his past hardships, counted the costs, and yet decided to forge ahead.

Paul chose to live in the however. We all have a however—things that threaten our quality of life or our very existenceillness, family strife, financial shortfalls, deaths of loved ones. Even so, we can still finish the race and complete the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. How much more does our testimony become enriched by trials than those who seem to glide through life unscathed?

I want to encourage you this week to take a few minutes and weigh your hardships against the full value of the gospel of God’s grace and then ask yourself:

How will I finish the race?

If you have a prayer request, I’d love to hear from you. Either email me confidentially or share in the comments section so others can pray for you, as well. Please take a moment to check the prayer list and Jesse’s page above for updates.

We’ve been praying for a young mother, Courtney, who is battling a cancerous brain tumor. Please pray for Courtney as she travels to Duke in North Carolina for an MRI to check treatment progress. In addition to the surgeries she had last year, she is on chemotherapy. She takes two daily chemo meds and every two weeks she receives another chemo treatment of Avastin. Needless to say, the every two-month MRI is hard on Courtney’s nerves. Her sister posted this on her Caring Bridge site:

This Wednesday, we would once again like to ask you for special prayers for Courtney as she goes for her next MRI.  Her tests begin at 1:00 and conclude with an appointment with her oncologist at 3:30 for the results.  We are praying for a stable report or better yet, that God is improving and healing the tumor site in a miraculous way. Thank you in advance for those of you that are so faithful to pray for Courtney. That knowledge helps us get through these difficult days of testing and waiting for the results. 
Also, a new request for Patti, who is suspected to have lung or breast cancer based on initial diagnostic tests from hospitalization. She will return to the doctor on Friday for more definitive news. Please pray for her son and husband, as well, as they go through this difficult time of uncertainty.

Lift up your voice and lay your burden down 

God bless,

© Laura Hodges Poole


  1. laura i am trying to grow from triala but i must admit i have let many just bring be down instead of growing from them. this post is a great reminder to grow and not give into pity.

    1. I think everyone probably experiences that to some degree, Betty. After all, we're human. But God is a great strength we can draw on to pull ourselves back up. God bless you.

  2. Thank you so much Laura, for this post to start my day with. You are such a concerned, and caring lady! I'm proud to know you.

    I'm off to strive to finish my race, and the tasks which God has given to me this day!

    Bless.... Nancy

    1. You're welcome, Nancy! I hope you have a blessed day.

  3. For the past two weeks, God has directed me to the accounts of great heroes of the faith who risked everything for Him--account after account. I'm a worrier, fretter who can camp out in the "what-ifs" way too long. Thanks for the reminder to surrender all to Him.

    1. You're welcome, Jennifer. I tend to have the same nature. God reminds me He is faithful and to rest in Him. Thanks for stopping by. God bless.

  4. Oooh, I love this post, especially how Paul chose to live in the "however." We all face trials, but it's how we respond, our attitude, that makes the difference in how we run the race. Thanks for sharing, Laura. :-)

    Praying for good reports for Courtney and Patti.

  5. Thank you for sharing these prayer requests. Will be praying!

    Thanks for this inspiring post. We do have a choice each day how we will act and react to the challenges that come.

    I'm glad my life has been filled with beauty and sorrow. How would I ever appreciate the good times if I hadn't experienced the bad? Pain isn't fatal, it just hurts. Thankfully we have a God who wipes away tears.