I have fought the good fight
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4.6-7
Paul knew his time was short. He knew that he was going to be executed for his faith. He knew that the government officials had had enough.
I wonder how I would do if I was in Paul's sandals? I wonder if my stomach would be knotted with anxiety. I imagine so, because I get that way any time I have to deal with any kind of officials, even with things like doing my taxes. My stomach was in bits planning for a departure to the UK. I don't really like change - and Paul was in for the ultimate change. His life on earth was just about over.
In fact he said that he was already being offered - it was his time to go. I don't know enough Greek to know the difference, but the old King James translation has 'I am ready to be offered up.' No matter how it is worded one thing is clear - Paul had no regrets about going.
Paul knew that he had done all he could do. It was time,
He fought the good fight
He finished the race that God laid out for him – he was looking to Jesus as the Author and the Finisher of His faith
He kept the faith
I don’t know how long I have left. I could die tonight. I could have a week, a month, a year, five years or 40 years, but I want to always be ready. I don’t want to finish my course and be sorry that I had done less than fighting the good fight, raced less than my best, or been weak in the faith.
May God grant me the grace to leave in the same confidence that Paul had when the day of my own departure is at hand.