• Retief Burger

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming DAY 30

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:28 I just had to try it. Someone dared me and how can I refuse such a challenge? So today at 12:30 after we put the kids to bed for an afternoon nap, I started my own ‘Lockdown 21km’ race around the house. Like I said, I couldn’t say no. I am happy to report that I finished the race with a roaring crowd of spectators: My toddlers who woke up from their afternoon nap, my wife and our amazing neighbours. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Looking back at my crazy challenge, I have learned a lot about our current situation. This verse in the 40th chapter of Isaiah speaks right into our need. Being a runner and triathlete for many years, I have learnt to dig very deep into my reserves when facing tough situations. In sport and in life there have been many times where I just wanted to give up. But how amazing to have a God who promises that He gives strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak! In this lockdown I have had to fight feeling weak and weary some days. We’ve all had to at some point. And it is okay. God is not offended or disappointed when we get to a place of weariness. He is however looking anxiously at how we will handle it. Will we tap into his storehouse of strength or try to do it on our own? The promise stands that He will give strength and power. Tomorrow we will look into how that power is available to us. But for now, back to the lessons I learnt today. 1. Do not try to go at it alone. Sometimes the way God gives us strength is through other people. Our neighbors decided to join in the fun today. The husband set up his bicycle trainer on their side of the street and cycled for an hour and three quarters with me, while his wife played the cheerleader role. Just their presence made my 134 laps more bearable. My kids cheered me along with their South African flags and my dear wife had Marmite sandwiches and water and a finisher’s medal ready. Can I urge you to not isolate yourself from people emotionally and relationally? Although we have to physically isolate ourselves, we all need people in this time to help us pull through. 2. Just keep going. In the famous words of Dory in Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…’ Between kilometer 10 and 15 I hit a bad patch, but since I have been running for many years I knew this would pass. I just had to push through and not give up. May you find the grace and the will not to give up in this season. None of us know how many laps we still have to go, as the finish line seems to keep on changing. Ask for help if needed, but just do not give up. Rather look up and look around: You are not alone. Stay safe and stand strong. Retief Burger

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