Be An Encourager

October 5, 2021

Be An Encourager

          In my last devotional, I shared about our son Tyler’s adventure of running his first triathlon. I also shared about the competitor who got the cramp yet still wound up winning the event. I wanted to share more about this man and his family.

          When we got at the water canal that morning to start the triathlon, we went down to see the start of the event. Several other people were on the dock adjacent to where the competitors were about to jump into the water to start the event. A lady in a red shirt and a small girl (Their daughter) were there together on the dock next to me. The lady’s husband was the first competitor to jump into the water. She and the little girl cheered him on as he started this part of the event.

          We all moved down to where the swimmers were to come out of the water and then transition to the bike part of the event. As the man came out of the water still in first place the wife and daughter were calling his name and cheering him on.

          As I said in the first devotional, I saw this man when he came in from the bike part of the event and started to transition into the running event. As he crossed the finish line on the bike, once again the wife and daughter were cheering him on.

As he started to transition for the running part and he bent over to put on his running shoes a massive cramp hit him in the quad muscle of his right leg. He was limping around in obvious pain and discomfort. I wanted to cry watching him. If it were me, I would have quit right then.

I noticed that his wife was right outside of the bike area and she was yelling words of encouragement to him. She was telling him to not give up. To keep on going. She assured him that he could make it. As he limped off through the bike area to begin the 5k (Over 3 mile) running part she was running alongside him until he got to the starting point of the race.

As she was running alongside him with just a fence separating them, she was still yelling words of encouragement. She went as far as she could with him and then watched as he limped off to start the race. We all watched him limp out of sight with the other guy who had finished 2nd in the bike part now well ahead of this runner.

As we waited at the finish line for the runners to come in to finish the race the lady and her daughter were right there with everyone else as we all had our eyes peeled up the hill where the runners come down to finish the event. 

We looked and here came the man who had started out limping now running full speed in 1st place. He crossed the line to win the event. Everyone was applauding him but his wife and daughter were cheering madly for him. As he crossed the finish line, he hugged his wife and scooped his little girl up into his arms.  

I talked with him later and found out that his cramp had let up about 30 yards into the 5k run and he was able to resume full speed.  He had caught and passed the man who was ahead of him.

I thought about how much encouragement this man’s family had brought to him from the start to the finish of the event. Even when it was the toughest, they were right there cheering him on and encouraging him to not give up. I believe that he had that on his mind as he was running and pressing on to finish the race.

The Holy Spirit is right there with us in our race of life. He is there to cheer us on in the good and the bad times. When we are wounded, broken, or just plain wore out He is there to encourage and challenge us to not give up. He reminds us that He will help us but also if we will keep on trying things will get better. And one day He will be there with the Host of Heaven to welcome us as we cross the finish line into the victory of Heaven.

So don’t give up on your journey. But also do all that you can to encourage fellow travelers along the way. 

In love with Jesus – Gary Mimbs 

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