“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (the Before all and the End of all)” [Amplified Edition]. We are all familiar with this verse from Revelation 22:13. However, we typically think of the beginning as something we leave behind and the end as a point where we stop. The beginning is the place where we take our first step in a journey, and the end is our goal — the finish line. One of my favorite Scriptures about this aspect of the beginning and the end is Hebrews 12:1-3:
“Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.” [Amplified Edition]
These verses have always motivated me to focus on Jesus as my goal, my finish line, the one to whom I am running.
A recent trip to San Francisco expanded my thinking about the race we are running toward our Savior. Our daughter-in-law used a panoramic setting on my camera to take a picture of our son at the Golden Gate Bridge. Timothy initially stood at the left side of the photograph, then ran around to stand at the right. Even though he couldn’t possibly be in two places at the same time, he actually does appear in two places of the same still shot. As I contemplated this phenomenon, the Holy Spirit reminded me that Jesus is our Source AND our Goal — the Beginning AND the End, the Author AND Finisher of our faith, the First AND the Last, the Alpha AND the Omega. He also is with us every step of the way on this grand and glorious race we are running — up and down mountains, in and out of tunnels, over bridges and (sometimes) under water, slowly and rapidly, on rough terrain and on smooth pavement, in fair and foul weather. His empowering Presence NEVER leaves us, no matter how we are running. Praise God for His faithfulness to launch us, strengthen us, and beckon us to Himself, our Creator and the End of all things!