Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. Hebrews 12:1-4 NLT
As a former athlete I can speak from experience what it means to catch a second wind. If you are an athlete you know what I am talking about. A second wind is the renewed energy, focus, and power that only few ever experience. You are at your best when you get your second wind. You are at your fastest when you get your second wind. You are at times unstoppable when you get your second wind.
When I played basketball I can recount the times when I got a second wind. I was never out of breath. I could outrun, out-jump, out-shoot, and out-play my opponents.
I remember playing a game in the Bronx where I was in pain and in total exhaustion. I pushed myself to the limit where to take another step would be physically impossible. I recall my knee being in so much pain that I actually cried out to God and said please take this pain away. I wasn’t a follower of Jesus and never recalled ever crying out to God up to this point.
Time was of the essence. My team was down 23 points with less than 5 minutes to play in the 4thquarter. Limping across mid-court in total pain and exhaustion I was ready to quit but I didn’t. I was ready to walk to the bench and ask my coach to replace me but I didn’t. Something inside of me kept telling me to press on. I can vividly remember one step of excruciating pain turning into a pain free step with renewed energy and power inside of me. All of a sudden I was running up and down the court without a trace of pain in my knee and I received my second wind.
I scored 24 straight points in those final 5 minutes to help my team win by a point. I blocked a shot with one second left to secure the victory. It was my greatest basketball comeback story that most people have never heard of.
Here are a few observations about life that make it hard to find our second wind:
· We all get weary
· We all have things or people that slow us down
· We all get injured
· We all have people who are trying to trip us up
· We all feel like giving up
· We all have faced hostile people
Here are few life lessons I have learned to help me find my second wind with God:
· I keep my eyes on the one true Champion, Jesus Christ!
· To win the race I must know the route! The bible and the Holy Spirit are my two reliable guides on how to win this race.
· I surround myself with a large crowd of witnesses that are willing to cheer me on! I know I have a cheering section in Heaven but it is my responsibility to build a cheering section of the life of faith here on earth by making myself accountable and approachable to all who want to run with me.
· I think of all the hostility and pain Jesus went through that he considered joy to help me when I am weary and ready to give up.
· I remind myself that I am running for an eternal prize.
· Last but not least, when I am tired and feel like giving up, I have to trust God in those trying times like never before. If I do, He has given me great promises. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So run with purpose in every step. 1 Corinthians 9:24-26
I hope to see you all at Encounter tonight! We have a great night of worship and a special word that will encourage you to live this life of faith!
Be Blessed and Encouraged