The Most Amazing Race

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Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9

I admire my daughter, Anna, more than words can express. She has grit, she is tenacious, she is funny and sassy. She loves deeply and is fiercely loyal to those she loves.

I have watched her over the last two and a half years work hard to accomplish her dream to become a naval pilot. I believe going through pilot school has been one of the greatest challenges of her life. She’s had to be extremely disciplined and focused. She’s missed out on things that were really important to her. She studies all the time. She told me once that flight school is like studying for final exams every week. She has watched some of her fellow pilots she loves and cares about soar and some fail. She’s had her ups and downs. I know there were times she thought about quitting.

I remember a few months that were particularly difficult for her. She thought she was going to fail. Honestly, it has been hard to watch her be so discouraged and hard on herself. There were a couple weeks that seemed like everything that could go wrong went wrong. I prayed constantly for her. I prayed over and over, “Your will be done.” I sent her verses, I sent her devotions, and I encouraged her to pray and trust Jesus to help her through flight school. I begged her to lean on God. I had my prayer warriors praying for her.

There was a very important flight that she had to pass. If she didn’t pass this flight she would fail out of flight school. I was so frustrated and upset. I told God everything I was thinking and feeling. I was so angry. The next morning during my quiet time, I heard God tell me, ”You think you love her, I love her more than you can ever imagine.” Immediately I repented. I can honestly say this has been a huge turning point in my faith. I have learned to trust him more than I could have imagined.

A couple hours later Anna called me crying. She was sure she failed out of flight school. Something unforeseen happened during her take off. She was told to land the helicopter immediately. Her IP (instructor pilot) told her he had to go and talk to the Commander. My heart was breaking for her, but I told God over and over, “I trust you, I know you love her and you have a plan for her life. You will turn everything out for good.” I told Anna I was praying for her.

She met with the IP, who told her the Commander was going to consider the flight a learning experience and she would retake the flight. She had to brief with the IP. Before and after every flight the IP and student brief. (My understanding of a brief is that the IP drills students with questions. It is very intense.) She did well.

When the brief was over, she turned and noticed for the first time that the Commander had sat in on the brief. She felt she would not have done as well on the brief if she had known he was there. She would have been extremely anxious. He complimented her and told her they had faith in her. She needed to increase her confidence, and he told her they would do everything they could to help her succeed. She called me later overjoyed and laughing. I kept praising God and telling her he worked a miracle. She has continued on in flight school. I am happy to say she is so close to the finish line. She only has five flights left. She could be finished with flight school when you read this.

Near the end of 1 Corinthians 9, Paul writes about the discipline it takes to run the race. I love the paraphrase of these verses that The Message offers:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (MSG)
24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.
26-27 I don’t know about you but I am running hard for the finish line. I’m giving everything I got. No sloppy living for me! I am staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

I can honestly say when Anna finally gets winged, I will be so proud of her. She has given flight school her everything, but that is not what is most important. My prayer is that flight school has helped her faith and trust in Jesus grow. I hope she remembers all of his blessings during her challenging journey. I pray she makes her relationship with Jesus Christ the most important thing in her life. I hope she reads and studies the Bible, prays, obeys God, and fulfills God’s purpose in her life. I want her to win the most important race of her life. I pray when she meets Jesus, He will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

How are you preparing for the most important race of your life? How are you helping others on their journey?

Next Steps:
Read and study the Bible. Participate in CedarCreek’s 21 Days of Prayer. Step out of your comfort zone. Join a group, volunteer, or get signed up for a mission trip.

21 Days of Prayer -Day 9
Today’s Prayer Focus: CedarCreek Groups—Group Leaders, Group members, real life change, and freedom (James 5:16), (Hebrews 10:25)

We believe that Groups are where people find freedom through authentic relationships that help them get through whatever it is they are going through. Together, let’s pray for our current leaders and for new leaders––that they would grow in their ability to care for their Group members. We also pray for our Group members, that they would find authentic relationships that produce real freedom and life-change. Amen.

This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.

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