Normally it would be sort of out of character for me to use a sports illustration, but I don't think I have ever seen a better picture of a father's love than this scene from the 1992 Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona. I remember seeing this happen and how touching this story was so I did a little research on it to find out the background. Derek Redmond had been to the 1988 Olympics, but had been forced to withdraw from the race just minutes before it started due to an injury, and he had been counting on winning a medal at the 1992 Oympics. Derek and his father were very close and his father attended every race that he ran all over the world.
Prior to the race in 1992, Derek and his father had talked about --no matter what happened, Derek HAD to finish the race. Derek was on the backstretch headed toward the finish and he hears a pop --in his right hamstring. It's almost as if someone shot him in the leg. He falls to the track grabbing hold of his leg --meanwhile his dad is making his way through a crowd of about 65,000 people to get to his son!
Derek refuses to get on a stretcher and he raises himself up and starts hobbling with tears flowing down his face. He is going to finish the race no matter what! His dad finally makes it through the crowd and even though security people are telling him he cannot go on the field, he says he's going anyway because "That's my son out there and I am going to help him"! His dad wraps his arm around him and he tells him that they will "finish together". He kept his arm around him until they approached the finish line and he removed his hold on him and let him cross the finish line on his own. I think this is such a great picture of how God runs to us when we fall. It is such a great picture of endurance AND encouragement.
I was reminded that no matter how tough the race gets I have a Father that cares and will be there for me. When we are hurt or tired and don't have the strength to go on, He breaks through the crowd and comes alongside of us and wraps His arms around us and says "we'll finish together."
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;
in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
2 Timothy 4: 7-8