May 17, 2020
When I was younger (much younger), I jogged. I was not an inveterate runner. Someone who is? Bishop Dave springs to mind; you know, the same Bishop Dave that couldn’t seem to stay retired. However, I did notice that at times when I thought I was done, body and mind completely frazzled, what they call a second wind kicked in. It was like a burst of energy that gave me new strength to run farther than I ever thought I could.
Some nine weeks into what we’ve come to recognize as a pandemic, I’m sure we all wonder about the course we’re on. Much like the runner who feels the build-up of lactic acid in arms and legs and shortness of breath that signals the run can go no further, the current months’ anxiety calls for an end to trials that test us so.
In Jeff Shaara’s The Glorious Cause, an inspiring novel of the American Revolution, George Washington is cast pondering one set back after another. The winter at Valley Forge was calamitous (“Washington’s mind was a sea of fog, no words at all, just one vision, the bare feet of the shivering soldier.”) During that war, times of hopelessness continued to fester. However, in Washington’s mind, his men “had come to accept that they have rights, that no supreme power can command any of us to bow before him, except the Almighty God.” Washington’s example of faith and perseverance through trials of such mammoth dimensions helped lead to a victory at times seemingly so out of reach.
So too, as we are faced with trials of all scale, let us remember the words of Paul found in Hebrews 12: 1 : “ . . . let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith . . .” The Lord knows us all and so, He knows when we need that second wind. And because He wants us to finish the race, He will provide that new burst of strength when we need it.