A few days ago I sat at a Colorado State Track meet and encountered two different pictures of empowering. As we were sitting in the stands there was a family right behind us excited for the upcoming relay race that their daughter was in. The gun went up, went off and went off again, which meant a false start. The dad behind us went nuts as his daughter false started and disqualified the team. His rant about his daughter being the worst athlete on the track caused the whole family to leave. A few minutes later the dejected daughter sat next to her father looking for some words of encouragement but very little came. It was heartbreaking to hear her sobs without her father consoling her with a hug or one word of comfort.
As the tragic scene was unfolding behind us, on the track the opposite was taking place. The Special Olympics ran a 100 meter dash. As the gun went off the large crowd stood to their feet with cheers and loud applause. The last athlete to cross the finish line was a blind contestant who had a friend running with him, giving instructions and encouragement the whole way. The closer he got to the finish line the cheers permeated the stadium and his hands raised in joy as he completed the contest.
I was praying that the father behind me saw what was going on and it touched his heart to do the same for his brokenhearted daughter.
As we move on in looking at the Character of Abba Father’s Heart we want to look at how He empowers His children with the Holy Spirit, who floods our hearts with encouragement, boldness, and love. This coming Sunday we celebrate Pentecost where Abba Father unleashed His empowering Spirit on a bunch of weak men and women who failed Jesus during his darkest moment, in a sense they got disqualified from their spiritual race. But Abba found each of them through Jesus and put his loving arms around them and said, “get ready for the greatest race of your life.” Yes, they should have been disqualified and so should I, but we have Dad who meets us in our brokenness and weakness. He, like the guide for the blind runner, comes alongside by the Holy Spirit and empowers us with words of encouragement and love that lead us to the finish line of our spiritual race.
Focus the next few days on Acts 1 & 2 and think about the broken disciples waiting for the Gift of the Father, His empowering Spirit, to lead them on the race of all races. How the Father would take a Peter, who denied His Son three times 50 days earlier, and turn him into “Rocky,” full of passion and courage to live as one empowered by his Father’s love. You may have failed and been disqualified in your spiritual walk, but sit down next to your Father, think about the Cross, and listen to what He says through His Spirit – and get ready to run again!