Elders Journal

 

2nd Wind

 

Because so many social restrictions have been placed on us recently due to the Covid-19 virus, I’ve had some bonus time to contemplate what it would be like for the ministry of our church when we get into full fellowship again. Would our witness be different from the past, would there be new opportunities for us to pursue, or better yet, would our spiritual resolve have a new look of anticipation? The temporal things in our life are fleeting through time at record speed but thank God that His plan for the future is eternal! So, where are we in our hope for that?

Recently the “memory bank” of my mind drifted gently back to the 1970’s. My neighbor and I used to run (or was it jog) on the road we live on. Starting from my house to one end of the road and back again was a 5K run. A slow start at first became, as the months past, a physical fitness I haven’t had since. It was during those running years that I noticed something I had not witnessed before. It is called “runner’s high.” I had heard about this phenomenon but I had never personally witnessed it as a runner!

If you continue to run and get into better shape physically, you experience a burst of adrenalin at times that can accelerate you to the end of your run! I didn’t think of it at the time but, growing up and working on the farm, this is what we used to call our “2nd wind.” I experienced this physical euphoria numerous times in later years while running, racing motorcycles, and even working in construction. To really appreciate the benefits that come from the “runner’s high” you must be dedicated to the early, preparatory effort that produces it! To be fully understood and explained we must be physically, mentally, and (or) spiritually connected with the experience.

Symbolism from some natural things in our world may help us to understand Biblical object lessons. I truly hope this makes spiritual sense because, even though I can’t run physically anymore, I have noticed a similar, spiritual “rush” in my life as God’s truths have constantly been validated and confirmed over and over in my mind! It seems that He is getting me ready with a final burst of energy for the end of the journey. Thank you LORD for the gift of adrenalin! Everything is more real than ever as you see the “finish line” getting closer and closer. My walk with Him continues onward and “full circle” when I realize that what He has planned is so close to fruition! In spite of world conditions and man’s denial, according to God’s word and world history, Jesus is coming soon!

Does it make perfectly good spiritual sense, then, to compare this experience of hope with the outpouring of God’s Spirit referenced in the Bible as the “early and latter rain?” He would never leave any of us devoid of spiritual strength as we run the “race of salvation” in this life. Any of us can enjoy the benefits of His mercy and grace if we grow and learn with the Spirit of Truth as He prepares us for His “latter rain!” God said, “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28) and with a promise like that, we can be encouraged but we must remain true to Him! Hopefully, we are already in good spiritual condition because we have allowed God’s Spirit to develop us with His “early rain”!

The events in our world right now concerning the Corona Virus, unemployment, and rampant uncertainty about the future may have caused many of us recall and reaffirm what the Bible says about the “signs of the times” and the soon return of our LORD and Savior, Jesus the Christ! Hopefully, our excitement for this to happen soon has not been misplaced but has created a renewed urgency to anticipate the “outpouring of His Spirit.” God said he would give us “rain in due season” and His timing to do this for us is measured by each one’s spiritual condition! “Where are you with Me” is the question He may ask anyone of us and the timing for that is always in the present! Truly, this is a gift from God!

The cancelation of many church activities and implementation of so many social restrictions has created a long list of anticipations for most of us and we miss close physical fellowship with our church family. I wonder if there really could be a “latter rain” of interest for ministry we haven’t noticed before? That would be a logical outcome if our “mind’s eye” is charged by God to “finish the work” as we say! We cannot be discouraged, disappointed, or distracted away from the commission given to us!

Having so much “down time” away from my regular routine of things lately has really been strengthening for me spiritually! I have not been depressed or complacent about anything that could potentially make me despondent about what God has planned! Social distancing or any kind of fear should not and cannot separate any of us from His love and the hope and peace that His coming has to offer! May His great benevolent mercy and grace renew our strength and resolve to run the race set before us. May we experience a “Second Wind”!

Melvin Brannon

Head Elder