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Nothing Can Stop Me Now

Facebook is filled with radiant faces of people who have attained goals.  Some are ecstatic over weight loss.  Others are celebrating finishing the goal of the ending cancer treatment.  And, regularly, there are those exhausted but happy faces that are smiling having finished a marathon.

Goals are those significant “bars of excellence” that we set for ourselves as a challenge.  We believe we are mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared to conquer the “uphill climb” to achievement.  However, it is no less difficult just because we believe it can be done.  Only when the victory of meeting the goal is achieved can we truly celebrate.

2 Chronicles 15:7 – God tells King Asa, “But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”  It is like the following story from the Dallas Morning News:

When Albana Gllareva met her high school counselor, the Dallas freshman said bluntly, “I want to be valedictorian.”

This is coming from a young lady who father was killed two months before her birth in the War in Kosovo. Her mother, while carrying Albana in her womb, fled making a harrowing 24-hour hike to neighboring Macedonia. Albana was born in a Macedonian refugee camp; she relocated to Dallas about a month after her birth.

When Albana started school in Dallas, she didn’t speak English; Albanian was the primary language in her home. She was held back in second grade because her English skills weren’t up to par.

When she told her counselor, she wanted to be valedictorian, Yeah, yeah, yeah, counselor Sonya Gilb thought. She’d heard such lofty, aspirational talk before. But the more they talked, Gilb saw a refugee, an English-language learner, a breadwinner and rock for her family — revealed something uncommon for someone her age.

“Everything was planned out; she knew exactly how she was going to do it,” Gilb said.

On June 14, 2018, Albana walked across the graduation stage as her high school’s valedictorian. Her principal had this to say about her, “There’s two things about her that set her apart: the level of intense focus that she has on instruction, in spite of what’s going on around her … and her gratitude toward this life and the opportunity that it has extended toward herself and her family. Her ambition is just mind-boggling, but at the same time, so is her humility — in terms of how grateful she is to the opportunities afforded to her.”  (Corbett Smith, “From Refuge to Valedictorian, Dallas Graduate Knew What She Wanted and Got It,” Dallas Morning News, June 19, 2018).

For a Christian, our goal is to “be like Christ”.  What a daily challenge that is!  To surrender the will of our desires under the mighty Hand of God so that our wills are subdued and submissive to His is no small task.  Just like physical training, being like Christ is not an instantaneous change.  Daily, we die to self to be filled more and more with His Spirit and with the mind of Christ.  One day in heaven, we shall be “changed in an instant” from “glory to glory” as the “old things truly pass away and all things become new”.    Until then, please excuse me for my present appearance I am training for the eternal marathon of walking with my God!