I remember watching the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, one of the greatest American hurdlers, Gail Devers experience an “epic” fall on the last hurdle before the finish line. What was so remarkable was how she finished!
Running paces ahead of her competitors, her leading foot hit the hurdle and she fell to her knees. However, she didn’t stop. On impact with the ground she crawled and tumbled over the finish line. That day Gail did not win the race, but she won the battle!
In life we are going to hit hurdles, but we can’t fall backwards…that would be surrender. We must position ourselves to fall forward and allow the impact to bring us to our knees in prayer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) states, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” What a powerful position to be in! God promises to hear us, forgive us and heal us when we humble ourselves and pray.
Gail Divers, is an American Olympian who won gold medals back to back in 100m dash in the Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996) games. She made her Olympic debut in the 1988 Seoul games. During the qualification rounds, she fell sick and did not make the finals. After the Olympics her condition worsened to the point where she could no longer walk. The news broke shortly thereafter that she was diagnosed with Graves Disease, an immune system disorder. Interestingly, before her diagnosis, Gail had been scheduled to have her legs amputated due to unexplained swelling. Two days before the surgery, doctors discovered the chemo medicine she was prescribed was causing the swelling. Once the medicine was discontinued, Gail began to improve.
Aren’t you grateful that we serve a God of second chances! He is merciful! Psalms 86:15 says, “But you, O Lord, are God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” God was merciful and gracious to Gail. He saved her legs, healed her body and in 1991 she made a come back and qualified for the US Olympic team. Gail won Gold in the 100 meter dash that year. What a comeback!
You may ask, how could an EPIC fall be a comeback? What makes Gail’s fall so significant? Here’s a young woman who was on the verge of loosing her legs. She fought and beat the Graves Disease, qualified for the Olympics, won Gold in the 100 meter dash, and she was on her way to win Gold in the 110 meter hurdles. Gail was leading until she hit the last hurdle. Even as she hit the hurdle, falling forward on her knees, she never stopped. She stayed in the race and crossed the finish line, on her knees.
When I see this moment replayed I like to think that she was not going to let anything get in her way. She was not going to stop because of a hurdle. She had experienced the delivering power of God before and she knew that He was always there.
What hurdle are you facing? Be assured that God is with you and that He cares for you. Keep reaching for your goals. When the journey gets hard or you trip over obstacles, take advantage of this powerful position and PRAY.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says, “pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”