I Co 9:24; II Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1
My dear friend shared with me that twenty years ago at a very hard crossroads in her life, God gave her a second wind. This phrase captured my attention.
www.InfoPlease.com states that a second wind is “the return of relatively easy breathing after the initial exhaustion during continuous exertion.”
Paul says we are running a race. All through his letters he exhorts us to run so that we can win the prize. We are to run and persevere so that we will finish the race.
The race is marked for us. The route mapped out long ago, long before we made an entrance into this world and its history.
But after we have been running for a while, we begin to weary. Our energy flags. Our limbs grow heavy and our breaths become shallow. We can't fill our lungs as deeply as before. We are tired, fatigued, and exhausted. We feel like we are running aimlessly. Circumstances and situations have hidden the purpose of the race. We can’t see the terrain we labor over. Mile after mile, marker after marker the race doesn’t change. But the strength of our exertion does.
Up from the bowels of our spirit we moan—groans and murmurs of our weariness. We want the race to slow or pause. We want to sit down right in the middle of the road. We try to pray, but our prayers seem to be made of unintelligible phrases and incomprehensible words. (But we have the Translator in heaven. Not only does he translate our words, but our meanings and our intents.)
At this point we have reached the very edge of our oxygen supply—we are running close to depletion. In this weariness, in the futility of our own ability, God bends down and gives us a second wind.
Because he wants us to finish the race.
He wants us to have the prize.
Rarely does he change our circumstances. These have come so that we might learn to persevere. These have come so that our lung capacity might be increased.
But he does fill our lungs, inflates them, billows them. And with his breath comes rich oxygenated blood and we are revived. Our breathing is eased. Our mind clears. He readjusts our inward spiritual metabolism. Our energy is boosted. Our pace quickens. Our energy is restored.
All external factors remain utterly the same, but we have been altered internally.
Give us a second wind, O God.
A third, if necessary.
We want to finish this race.