There was a song in the 1980’s called “The Waiting is the Hardest Part.” I don’t remember much about the lyrics, but the line is true. It’s exciting to start something, and when you know you’re rounding the bend nearing the end, it’s easy to cross the finish line.
But the middle can be tough if it’s longer and weightier than you planned.
In my earlier years I worked as a receptionist and fitness trainer at a health club. Every fitness program had one thing in common – that middle ground that tests its participants. Anyone who could stick through a fitness routine would become more fit in time.
But they had to wait.
Every fitness participant began with great enthusiasm and some trepidation. As I would do an intake survey, each person had a combination of motivations for wanting to get fit.
It could have been health reasons (per a physician), anxiety management, boredom, wanting to win the battle of the bulge, desiring more energy, or many more reasons.
But in the end, the reason didn’t entitle one to be fit so much as how one met the middle, that is, how they waited and worked through their personal physical, mental and emotional barriers.
In Christ I find the same is true if Christ is to be formed in me. I will confess that it’s easy to get to the middle and muddle it up sometimes.
I also confess that if I muddle up Christ’s name in the process, I dislike it even more.
Oswald Chambers says “You cannot think a spiritual muddle clear, you have to obey it clear.”*
The apostle Paul says to Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.**
Mine is to stay the course.
In the middle I have to remember to wait for it, to endure and persevere for Christ’s sake. He longs for his own to “bring it home.” He is our strength when we lay the pride aside that seems to pop up conspicuously in the middle of any trial.
He lifts the head of the weary. He strengthens our arms and feet when feeble. He comforts the wounded.
He is in the middle of it all, and if we believe that he holds all things together, he will help us cross the finish line too.***
In the end, the medal is his to wear, for if there is still life and another race to run, it’s good to not be weighted down.
Where do I need to lay pride down and ask Christ to help me endure my wait training?
*My Utmost for His Highest/September 14
**I Timothy 4:8