“But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NASB)

Allyson, my youngest daughter, and I were very excited to hike Runyon Canyon in LA. So many people had told us that it was a must do so we were pumped about finally getting the chance to do it; however, we didn’t realize there were several different courses to the top, and we somehow ended up on the more advanced trail.

Scary.

Ally, who is 25 years younger than I am and in very good shape, was even huffing and puffing a little as we made our way up the steep inclines. I had gone way past huffing and puffing. If I could have caught my breath, I would have told Ally that I wanted to stop and rest for a bit, but I didn’t have enough energy or air to try and holler for her as she hiked ahead.

With that piece of needed information, I had hope once again, so I put one Nike in front of the other and pressed on.

I felt as though the hikers who passed by on their way down were secretly mocking me, and I was too proud to give up before reaching the top. I wanted to take that all-important Runyon Canyon selfie with my 20-year-old daughter, documenting I had actually completed the hike, and on the advanced trail at that!

Still, as the sun beat down, I wanted to give up. Just then, I made eye contact with one of those hikers on the way back down the trail. He must have sensed my desperation because he smiled and encouraged, “You’re almost there!”

With that piece of needed information, I had hope once again, so I put one Nike in front of the other and pressed on. Turns out, that helpful hiker was correct—I was almost to the top. I just didn’t know it. I was able to finish and arrive at my destination just moments later. Honestly, if he hadn’t shared that important tidbit of information, I might have quit just shy of my goal. I would’ve missed out on that feeling of accomplishment, and I never would’ve had the chance to take the celebratory Runyon Canyon selfie. Most importantly, I would have missed sharing that magical moment with my daughter.

That experience made me wonder how many times in life I had quit right before my breakthrough. I wondered how many times I might’ve missed out on something amazing because I threw in the towel too soon. How about you? Have you also been guilty of quitting when circumstances aren’t ideal or when a situation gets too tough?

Apparently, we’re not alone. Minister of the gospel and sports enthusiast, Chip Brim, shared a vision that God had given him. The Lord showed him thousands of Christians running down the football field. They started off strong, running with all of their might, striving toward their goal. But when they reached the one-yard line, they fell to the ground. Not one of them made it across the goal line to score that all-important touchdown. Instead, they all perished right there—one yard from their destiny.

Chip asked the Lord, “Why? What happened?” God told him, “They gave up too soon. They threw in the towel. They didn’t know how close they were…”

So, my friends, if you’ve fallen down on the one-yard line—get back up. Ask God to help you. He will do His part if you’ll do yours. Just don’t give up. Keep pressing toward your goals! Because here’s the good news—you’re almost there!

(This is an adapted excerpt from my latest inspirational book, “Love & Care For The One and Only You”—available in most bookstores and via Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com online.)

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Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hoosier State Press Association. Author of over 80 books with close to 4 million books sold, Michelle’s latest children’s book, My First Day of School (Worthy Kids) won the Selah Award for Best Children’s Book in 2018, her fourth Selah for Best Children’s Book since 2012. In fact, in 2014 Michelle’s board book God Knows You not only won the Selah for Best Children’s Book but also won the esteemed Book of the Year honor over all other Selah winners. In addition, her children’s book, I Will Not Be Afraid (Concordia Publishing House) earned “The Gold” Enduring Light medal for best children’s book in the 2018 Illumination Awards. Since graduating with a journalism degree from Indiana University, Michelle has written more than 1,500 articles for newspapers, magazines and websites; acted as a stringer for the Associated Press; written for a worldwide ministry; helped pen a New York Times Bestseller; hosted “Joy In Our Town” for the Trinity Broadcasting Network; and served as a blogger for Guideposts. Today, she is President of Platinum Literary Services—a premier full-service literary firm—and she serves as Chairman of the Serious Writer Board of Directors. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities, politicians, and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers. Michelle is also a much sought-after teacher at writers’ conferences and universities around the nation. In fact, she has served as an adjunct professor three different years at Taylor University, teaching “Writing for Children.” Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff, and they have two daughters, Abby and Allyson, two sons-in-law, one grandson and another grandbaby on the way. She and Jeff share their home in Southern Indiana with a miniature dachshund, a rescue Shepherd/Collie mix, and two cats. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys bass fishing and cheering on the Indiana University Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies, and the LA Kings.