I heard someone say recently “the reason many people quit running when they are winded is because they don’t realize they have a second wind.”

Though there is some disagreement on where second wind comes from, few debate that it is real. My point is that many fail to take advantage of the extra energy and stamina that come from pushing through the wall of fatigue into that extra something that propels them on to the finish line.

Every person who determines to exercise consistently will experience this phenomenon at some point in the process.

Second wind is a concept that will translate into many areas of life. Metaphorically speaking, we often “hit the wall” in areas of life experience beyond physical exercise. Those times when we just get too tired to go on.

Discouragement, fatigue, disappointment and fear loom like the walls of Jericho. Going under or over or around them seems unlikely if not impossible. So, what do we do? Give up, Retreat?

Yes, those are options but not the best option. Persistence usually brings some kind of reward, the joy of pushing though to accomplishment, the satisfaction of finishing, like a second wind is a great feeling.

But it is more than feeling, something inside us is transformed, or proven giving us courage to go on to even greater tests of endurance.

In that lag between winded and second wind is when people give up, in those few moments of initial exhaustion everything points to “I can’t.”

But wait, take a moment to breathe and ask God for help. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Before this statement in Isaiah, it says that everyone gets tired even the young and vigorous, but it is those who wait on God who will excel in the realm of things thought impossible.

But you have to run! Second wind comes to those who start, and to those who persevere. So do both, run and keep running, work and keep working, pray and keep praying, forgive and keep forgiving, believe and keep believing.

Then you can say with the apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Rev. Tim Barton is lead pastor of Wallowa Assembly of God Church in Wallowa.

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