THE SECRET OF THE SECOND WIND
Dan and I are so grateful for the continued growth of the Tikkun America network of congregations. We were so blessed by our ministry trips to Ohev Yisrael in Springfield, VA, and Beth Am in New City, NY, this past month. Plus, we had great opportunities to equip and to encourage our people during the Maryland/Virginia Tikkun Leadership Institute and the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania Leadership Institute. This coming week we will be ministering at Brit HaDashah in Memphis and finish off our travels with an Institute in Nashville. During our visits we often met with the younger emerging leaders, which is my favorite part of what we do. It always feels good when we finish the itinerary for our time in the States. It is like finishing a marathon!
During this intense travel season I have come to understand in an even deeper way what it means when Scripture says that our life does not belong to ourselves (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We have been bought with the precious blood of Yeshua and, because he has given us so much, we are filled with gratitude. In response we give up the right to live here the way we want and even give ourselves to doing the impossible. During the first three quarters of our trip I began to feel spent. How could I keep up this intense pace? I was running out of strength. But then I got my second wind and joy returned! Dan and I were flooded with God’s grace the night we were supposed to fly back from Newark to our base in Kansas. Our 'plane was cancelled and they had no other flights until the next night, which would greatly hinder our schedule. Normally Dan and I would begin to break down but such a supernatural joy and renewed energy overcame us. We had to go to a hotel near the airport for the night and catch two flights to carry us all the way back, a full day affair. Then I knew that through the empowerment of the Spirit we could finish our race. We had just experienced the secret of the second wind. And, as a bonus, Dan got to watch the Super Bowl. He is such a sports fan!
An online dictionary defines 'second wind' as:
1. the return of ease in breathing after exhaustion caused by continued physical exertion, as in running.
2. the energy for a renewed effort to continue an undertaking.
Second wind is a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is out of breath and too tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion (Wikipedia).
We learn endurance through persevering in the midst of pain and discomfort. I think of a runner or gymnast or other kind of athlete. They learn to press through their bodily pain to obtain the goal of excellence in their sport. The old saying, “No pain, no gain,” contains a lot of truth. Why do these athletes choose that kind of suffering? I think that pushing oneself past the comfort zone strengthens the inner resolve of a person, or character. We all admire those who press through and overcome obstacles to win the prize, or to obtain their goal. Sometimes that goal entails enduring much just to stay alive. And, can you imagine, we are encouraged to rejoice in this suffering because of the great fruit. If we follow Romans 5:3-5 through to its conclusion we will achieve hope and then a greater capacity to love. Hope is a by-product because we need hope to endure. Hope includes the expectation of good. Why else would someone endure if they did not expect some kind of reward? Having endured, we learn compassion for others who suffer and we long to extend mercy and comfort. Moreover, if we continue to press through, we receive our second wind just like the athletes.
We will be traveling to Israel in only a week. The work on that side of the ocean continues to develop and there is so much to do.
Thank you for your prayers and ongoing support. We pray that you will find joy in running your race and that you will have times of getting your second wind so you can finish well.