The Gospel In Boston

The following story went viral on Facebook this past week describing the story of one young woman (Laura Wellington) who was a participant in the Boston
Marathon:

As some of you know, I was half a mile from the finish line when the explosion went off. I had no idea what was going on until I finally stopped and asked someone. Knowing that my family was at the finish line waiting for me, I started panicking, trying to call them. Diverted away from the finish line, I started walking down Mass Ave. toward Symphony Hall still not knowing where my family was. Right before the intersection of Huntington, I was able to get in touch with Bryan and found out he was with my family and they were safe. I was just so happy to hear his voice that I sat down and started crying. I just couldn’t hold it back. At that moment, a couple walking by stopped. The woman took the space tent off her husband, who had finished the marathon, and wrapped it around me. She asked me if I was okay, if I knew where my family was. I reassured her I knew where they were, and I would be okay. The man then asked me if I finished to which I nodded “no.” He then proceeded to take the medal off from around his neck and placed it around mine. He told me “you are a finisher in my eyes.” I was barely able to choke out a “thank you” between my tears.

Odds are I will never see this couple again, but I’m reaching out with the slim chance that I will be able to express to them just what this gesture meant to me. I was so in need of a familiar face at that point in time. This couple reassured me that even though such a terrible thing had happened, everything was going to be okay.

In that simple story is the gospel. Did you catch it? In the midst of a crazy life you may have peace of mind about your family, you may be physically okay even though you are tired, but the “thing” that devastates your soul is the reality that you just cannot “win.” The dreams you have just aren’t panning out, life is not happening as you had planned or expected, and what you have been working so hard to accomplish is crushed in an instant.

Therein lies the beauty of the gospel. Jesus has won, and you don’t have to keep trying to “win.” You win automatically. He sees you in your weary and desperate state and places upon you what He accomplished which you cannot gain. He looks into your eyes and says, “You’re a finisher in My eyes.”

Enjoy what Jesus has given you—victory over sin and death. Don’t try and pay Him back. You can’t, even if you had a thousand more years to live. Embrace His victory, revel in the “win,” and share your story with the world.

The Message paraphrases Colossians 1:20 this way:

All the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

What things in your life are broken or haven’t turned out as you have expected? How does Jesus “winning” apply to that situation?

About Author

Brad Neese

Brad Neese is an evolving leader captivated by the child-like simplicity and the deep-ocean complexity of the Gospel. He is a graduate of Cedarville University & Dallas Theological Seminary and is currently a Student Ministry Pastor in southwest Michigan. One loving, godly, and nurturing woman graciously agreed to covenant with him in marriage over a decade ago, and out of all the 6.8 billion people in the world, only four get to call him ‘Dad.’ But above all this, Brad follows Jesus. No one else.

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