Survivors

Matthew 24:13
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

A thought came to my mind today. Most of the survivors of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps were not the escapees who movies are made about. The survivors were mostly the ones who got up everyday, endured the pain and the humiliation, and made it to the night.

Of course, for them, every day in that horrible place was like midnight. The idea of facing a day in that place, seems like standing at the foot of a horribly high mountain, knowing you must climb just to survive. It’s a horrifying image, one that left its share of scars, but remember one thing. Survivors have scars, the living’s wounds heal, the dead’s do not. The Lord Jesus said it this way.

Matthew 22:32
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Abraham had the scars of the wrong son, before he lived to see the right one. Isaac had the scars of watching his Mother buried, while standing in the field, watching as his Wife ride up. Jacob had the scars of running for His life from the brother he stole from. He lived long enough to embrace the brother that had plotted to kill him.

There are days in prayer when we will do battle. There are days when we’ll share strength with others, maybe just an encouraging smile. Then there are those days when the prayer we pray goes something like this, “Lord, please help me through this day.” It is in those moments when we search for a verse, not to inspire others, but to reinforce ourselves.

Weakness, or weariness, is nothing to be ashamed of, as long as we approach it correctly. Some days, you climb to the peak of Everest. On other days you grab hold of the rope on the side of the mountain and wait for the wind to die down.

If you’re going through one of those days, remember this. Both days are important. There is a time for both, but there is never, I repeat never, a time to let go. Rock climbers who give up and let go, never make it to the top. The encouraging thing is this though, the Mountain’s crown welcome both those who never stumbled, and those who had to wait out the storm clinging to the rope.

Auschwitz and Everest share something, both seemed overwhelming and impossible, but both welcomed persistent men and women. They all may not have roared like a lion, but they kept speaking by faith. They kept breathing.

There is a line in the movie “Sleepless In Seattle” that I love. “I’m going to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while, I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed in the morning and breathe in and out.”

John 20:22
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

According to the Scripture, breath for us, is more than just a physical act. So the very act of breathing is taking a stand against the trial you face. I know you may feel like that you are spinning your wheels. Maybe you think that you’re not getting anywhere, but you are. Every day the prisoners in Auschwitz survived was a day closer to freedom. Sometimes, you don’t have to charge, you just have to endure the night.

Psalms 30:5
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.