Derek Redmond is a retired British sprinter. For a time he held the British record for the 400 meter run and was a member of the team that beat the much-favored American team in the 4 x 400 meter relay at the 1991 World Championships—a race that was, up to that point, the second-fastest 4 x 400 meter relay in history.
Derek went to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, but had to pull out during the opening round of the 400 meter race because of an injury to his Achilles tendon. But by 1992, he was once again in good form and heading to the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He performed extremely well all the way through the quarter-final race. But after starting well in the semi-final, he tore his hamstring in the back straight about 250 meters from the finish line. Crippled with pain, he fell to the ground. The medical team brought a stretcher to carry him off the field, but Derek was determined to finish the race and began hobbling down the track.
As Derek slowly and painfully made his way toward the finish line, Jim Redmond, Derek’s father, pushed his way through security and ran to him. Wrapping his arm around the young man’s shoulder for support, they completed the final lap together. Although they crossed the finish line, because Derek had required help to finish the race, he was officially disqualified and the Olympic record states that he did not finish the race.
Friends, it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that this race of life will be won. Help from the Holy Spirit will not cause us to be disqualified, but will enable us to finish the race. Both the redemption of our own souls as well as the souls of those for whom we are laboring depend on our connection with God.
“God is stronger than any human influence. If we will accept Him as our Educator, if we will make Him our strength and righteousness, He will work in our behalf.” Loma Linda Messages, 444
“We cannot fall as long as we hope and trust in God. Let every soul of us, ministers and people, say, as did Paul, ‘I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air,’ but with a holy faith and hope, in expectation of winning the prize. Say to your soul, ‘Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance and my God.’ By precept and example encourage faith, confidence, assurance. This is the work of the Comforter, and it is your work to cooperate with God’s agencies.” The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893
“We may come to Him just as we are, helpless, destitute, needy, and He will not send us empty away. The riches of the universe belong to God … He can supply all our needs out of His abundant fullness. We receive our breath from Him; every blessing in nature that we enjoy is an expression of His love. We are likewise dependent upon Him for spiritual blessings, for grace and wisdom and strength to do the will of God. And He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children.” The Signs of the Times, August 21, 1884
Dear Lord, we are crippled with sin and unable to finish this race alone. Extend Your mighty arm to us and as we rely upon its strength, bring us home.