It’s hard to say something profound if it hurts when you breathe. It is hard to wax eloquently when it feels a St. Bernard has locked his jaws onto your backside. That is where we find ourselves today. The 1st BCT has received the equivalent of a warning order that we are being extended for an unspecified period of time in Iraq. Soon we will find out if it is true or not, but the effect of the possibility is true enough. Back home in the states the news spread like wild fire. Here it landed like mortars with a sick thud.
Near the end of our race just when we thought the finish line would be around the next bend, we have learned our 10k race may actually be a marathon. Like a runner who didn’t pace himself for the full race we are hurting a bit, ok a lot. If this happens we will miss another season of birthdays, anniversaries, and special events. Parents, spouses and children will drive on without us for another season. This is the proposed reality we face. It is a little hard to breathe if you think to long on it.
This hard to breathe feeling becomes over time, all too common. I have felt it before. So have you. I felt it the day my mother died. I heard the gasp in a friend’s voice not to long ago as he explained to me the type of cancer he has and the treatment he will endure. I heard it in my dear wife’s voice as we contemplated the possibility of deployment eighteen months ago, and again yesterday when we talked about extension. Today I saw it in more soldiers’ eyes than I can count.
The Bible says, “…Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” By biblical definition a prophet speaks for God, so let me give speaking for God a try.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations."
God will sustain you through this time in your life. God will keep your going out and coming in. God will watch over you. The God of the universe who holds the stars in the sky and controls the beat of your heart has not abandoned you. He has a plan and the heart of that plan is your welfare. Know the truth…you will get your second wind. We will be gathered from the nations. We are not alone.