Love Letter Exchange with God - The Prize of Your Smile

"The Prize of Your Smile"

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14 

My Abba, 
I want to press forward toward what you have for me. Please give me vision, stamina, courage, faithfulness and all the other gifts I need to run the race set before me. I want to be single-minded in my devotion to you. I want to enjoy the prize of your smile as you cheer me on all the way to the finish line. 

Please make me a hungry recipient of the gifts you have for me. You offer so much, but I accept so little. Please show me, more and more, how to receive from you. 

This race can be arduous. Sometimes the sun scorches my resolve. Sweat runs down my forehead into my eyes and washes away my peace. When my feet blister and muscles cramp, the race feels like it will never end. Just to survive, I need to drink persistently from the overflowing cup of your compassion. 

Please give me a strong sense of my identity, purpose, and the path you have chosen for me. Olympic long-distance runners come to mind. They are never confused about the country for which they run. They are clear about their purpose. And, they are quite aware of the route to the finish line.

I want to be like that. Make my heart keenly aware I belong to you. Show me how, when and where you want me to run. And, please, equip me every day as a runner who is on the way toward your purposes empowered by your Spirit.

I love you, 

My child, 
Each day, your highest calling is to live for my glory. I will supply everything you need to finish well. In comparison to eternity, you are inches from the finish line of this life. Please don’t give up because you ache and are exhausted. I can take that pain and give you the energy this race demands.

You forget sometimes that I have everything you need. I never intended for you to run in your own strength. Depend on me. I can carry you, even when you trip and fall face down on the pavement.

I don’t want you to rest on yesterday’s laurels or concentrate on past defeats. I want you to learn from, and be grateful for, the laps you have run. But a good runner focuses on each stride and then the next. Don’t fixate on what is behind or obsess about what might be ahead.
My Son is the only one who has run the perfect race. Let his life be your example. No one can train and transform you like he can.

You cannot imagine the celebration there will be as you cross the finish line. Run with me.

I love you, 

photo: mihtiander 

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