Can we be done with February already? Not to wish away the time, but this is the low point of my year. Every time, I find myself dragging along with grim survivalism. Please God, help me make it to March. Put this dark, icy block of frozen minutes in the rear-view mirror! All of us are betwixt and between, fighting to emerge unscathed from the most extreme and elaborate lockdown of the entire pandemic. This has been a brutal, interminable season, but in spite of it all, I steel myself for a final burst; a sprint to the finish.
One of the most powerful life-lessons I ever learned was during the last, horrific push of studying for finals at University. While everyone else was already mentally shifting into the summer and looking ahead with the attitude of “let’s just get this done”, I somehow found a do or die mentality to really press in to my final exam prep with fortitude. To me, it was simply insane to close off an exhausting and expensive round of instruction without giving it my all.
When you are in absurdly large lecture theatres, competing with three hundred other medical, pharmacy, nursing, engineering and applied sciences students for your Organic Chemistry grade, you’d better be serious. The stakes are high and the rivalry intense. With so many, professors mark on the curve, and you could lose an entire grade point simply by being on the wrong side of a percentage cut-off. Now is the time to get manic, bear down and seriously concentrate. Give it your all, because that final 40% of your grade could make or break you. I’ve suffered a mediocre grade-point average through difficult classes, only to experience the supreme joy of sailing through the final exam to come out on top. It happens! The lesson? Never underestimate the dying embers and closing seconds of a terminating season. The last gasp may be your culminating crown. You might just recover all.
There is magnificent opportunity in these contrary countdowns. In the final hours of something, time contracts and expands strangely. Like Joshua and his calling to the sun and moon, the final moments of a season can double or triple the entire profitability. Exploits may yet be accomplished. Faith, focus and fortitude are the only things you need to catch the cresting wave.
This is, in fact, a Biblical principle. Remember the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal? After three years of famine and persecution, the prophet emerges from hiding to boldly confront the powers of evil pervading the land. There's a major showdown at the altars. God answers Elijah's plea with breath-taking fire from heaven, and the heathen prophets are slain on the spot. But the miracles don’t end there. Elijah knows it isn't over as he bears down to pray for the breaking of the famine with sweet rains.
Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”
So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”
Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’
Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.
Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. 1 Kings 18:41-46
Spring may be an intoxicating hope on the horizon, but there are singular conditions now present in this suspended moment we may never see again. Like Elijah's prophetic finale, the long-awaited Kairos is present to finally take down pernicious adversaries. Famines are ending. After serious plague and pestilence, a deluge of grace is amassing in the great storm-clouds of change. There's an anointing to outrun chariots, so sharpen your focus. Press in with prayer and praise for the promises of God not yet manifest. Position yourself for the mighty winds of the Spirit. Right now, God is in the details. The finish line is in sight, so bear down for the final sprint.
They will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
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