PHOTO: From the movie, "Braveheart."
Like you, I have faced sickness up close and personal.
Fighting off a serious infection is just what it sounds like: a fight. Rather, I might add it’s a fight-to -the-finish because infections can dangerously get out of hand real fast.
When the body is fighting, it can be doubly weary from the infection and the fight.
Being tired is one thing. Being wiped out is another. Exhaustion is radical.
Every pilgrim knows these stages. Baseball teams have relief pitchers and utility players. Even warriors eventually come to a point where they have to rest.
There’s a scene from Braveheart where the protagonist lies on the ground and it seems as if he is all but spent.
The Stations of the Cross depict Jesus falling three times.
Everyone hits their Heartbreak Hill.
In an interesting interview, it was discovered that centenarians had one thing in common: their ability to arise after crushing crises. They intrinsically beat the ten-count.
To arise after any battle is an act of courage and willpower. There is some pivot on which we turn when we haven’t the energy of a snail and still move toward getting off the canvas.
It’s in that moment that the turnaround is occurring and yet it feels no different than when we were still flat on our back. The disease or problem or crisis has not abated…yet.
It struck me during one of these times of my own that Elijah thought he was finished and all alone. That’s what it feels like because it is, in fact, and has to be, a personal battle. It also feels like a skin-of-the-teeth ascension.
But that battle sets us up to throw our coats over the next warrior. In Elijah’s case, it was Elisha. In Braveheart’s case, it’s Robert The Bruce. In Jesus’ situation, it was for the disciples and all of us.
In the latter case, that word “arise” was never the same after that.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Each of our “resurrections” is a portal for someone else. We never arise just for ourselves…though it may feel that way at the time.
I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too…’Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.’ So Elijah went from there…and threw his cloak around him…Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin…As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
1 Kings 19:14,17-19 NIV, Proverbs 24:16 HCSB, Matthew 27:32 NIV