I have an announcement: School is over, we are free to exhale. Time for flip flops, cookouts and last minute trips to the beach. No more multiple practices and games to get to, lunches to pack and forms to fill out. For many (myself included), summer is a mental break.
Our last few weeks of school seemed to be so jammed with a ton of “final events”. Final parties, final games, final celebrations, camp deadlines, and last minute details….all to be completed in June. I felt like I was holding my breath in a final push to the finish line. I was never a runner, but I imagine those last steps of a marathon are the peak of intensity, laser-focused, holding your breath, pushing harder onward towards that finish line. You break through the line, legs burning and then you stop. Or in our case WHOOOOA NELLY!
So how did YOU finish? Did you end the year confidently, like this:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; – 2 Timothy 4:7
Or did it feel more like the end of Lord of the Rings when Frodo (and Sam) threw the ring into Mount Doom, slowly realizing they would most likely die after this final act of bravery? Lying there on a rock after 14 months of intense travel while lava floods around them, saying: “Here we are, at the end of all things.”
I think for many of us, we feel like Frodo. We pushed and pushed and now here we are – at the end of all things – worn out, exhausted, feeling a little hopeless, but nevertheless thankful that the quest has been completed. Waiting on Gandalf to send the eagles. (Sorry if you’re not a Rings fan…you’re really missing out)
I have good news – I’m pretty confident none of us had to destroy a ring of power being chased by Orcs. We’ve had some trials, but we made it. We can open our mouths and exhale. We can rest. We can sabbath. Even if you don’t have kids in school, you can probably relate. Maybe it’s an intense doctor visit, or visiting relative, or something at work – there is quite possibly some sort of trial that you’ve gone through that you felt you would NEVER make it through. Maybe you’re in this trial now – looking for an escape, for hope. I’d suggest you stop and consider Jesus. Look to him for hope in your trial, a place to exhale. God never promised life would be easy or simple – but he did promise hope and peace in the midst of those trials.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31