We watched the new movie Tōgō about a musher, Leonhard Seppala and his 12 year old sled dog and team, who go through extreme odds to get an antitoxin serum for an outbreak of Diphtheria in Nome Alaska. It is a well known story, that has been given its own name, “The Great Race of Mercy.”
There were several times I was moved to tears in this movie. After we watched the movie, I laid in bed thinking about the loyalty of that dog, the endurance, sheer spirit and enthusiasm. Towards the end of the movie Seppala said, “I always thought he lived for the sled. What he lived for was me.”
Before I turned out the light to go to sleep, I read a couple of devotionals, one talked about perseverance and although trying times may come in life, you can still emerge from them triumphant. God promises to never leave us. His authority and power are leading and sustaining us through all the storms in this life. In another devotional, at the end it asked, “do you intend to obey God, to obey His Word? Do you really want to do His will? Or have you already decided to follow your own way despite what God’s Spirit will say?” The challenge in this devotion was, are you willing to lay down your own ambitions, elevating His will, not your own?
I prayed, Lord, I want this and yet I fail miserably. I want spirit and enthusiasm for you Lord. I cried to the Lord about the longings of my heart and the trials. I then fell asleep.
The next morning I opened my eyes and I thought about Tōgō and the scenes in the movie of him just wanting to be with his master, he had no fear. He was willing to face the treacherous storm and all the obstacles because he loved his master and wanted to be with him. He trusted him above all else. Nothing else mattered. Upon waking with these scenes in my mind and tears in my eyes, my Lord whispered comfort in my ear and showed me a picture of Himself through that story. He showed me, I am living for Him. He is leading this race and it is a race of mercy. He won’t let us fail. In our weakness he will strengthen us, all we need to do is run to Him, live for Him, obey Him, because we love Him and this is what we are made for. He gave us dominion over this earth, we have been crowned with honor in His name.
My heart broke and my eyes filled with tears as this picture of my Heavenly Father and me became so vivid and clear!
What is the greatest commandment? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
The more we submit and grow in our love for Him, the more we understand who we are and our purpose in this life.
Below is a picture from 1925 of Tōgō and Leonhard Seppala.
I want to be in the loving arms of my Father at all times. There, is love, there, is safety, there, is where I’m meant to be.