5 Minutes Longer

"Love never fails."

1 Corinthians 13:8

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer." It encourages my heart each time I read it. It brings to mind the the scene at the Last Supper we read of in John 13:1 which says, "Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." It’s the last sentence that encourages my heart and I pray it does yours today too, loved one. It says Jesus "loved them to the end". The implication is not that somehow Jesus love for His friends ended when He went to the Cross. No, it is far better. The text reminds us that Jesus has never stopped loving us, He has never quit on us, even though all quit on Him. Actually worse, we crucified Him.

As I think about Jesus words so many scriptures came to mind as well as stories I have grown to appreciate from life about staying the course and finishing the race before us. Most of us have heard reference made to a speech that Winston Churchill made regarding quitting. It took place on October 29, 1941, when United Kingdom (Great Britain) Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow School to to hear the traditional songs he had sung there as a youth, as well as to speak to the students. This visit became one of his most quoted speeches, and not so much because of the content or the quality of what he spoke of but due to distortions that evolved about what he actually said that day.
The myth is that Churchill stood before the graduating students and said, "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." Then he sat down. In reality, he made a complete speech that included words similar to what is often misquoted. What he actually said in his speech that day was, "Never ever, ever, ever ever give in. Never give in, Never give in. Never give in." What Winston Churchill was exhorting the students to do that day was to persevere, to stay the course, don't compromise and in many ways understand the words of another great leader and innovator of his own day, Thomas A. Edison, who knew from personal experience that, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

If anyone understood failure and the desire to quit it was Edison. On a cold December night in 1914, Thomas Edison’s factory burst into flames that consumed all of his current projects and much of his life’s work.  At 67 years old he sat on a grassy knoll and watched everything he had worked for being destroyed in front of his own eyes.  His wife was worried that he would become distraught over the loss and she sent the children to find their father who was sitting there almost as it were with a grin watching his life's work being consumed before his very eyes. The next morning, Mr.Edison looked at the ruins of his factory and said of his loss: “There’s value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God, we can start anew and now more intelligently.”

Have you ever felt as if your life was like watching a warehouse burn to the ground and all you could do is sit by hopelessly and watch? Been there done that! If you have ever suffered loss you probably have to one degree or another. The good news this morning, loved one, if you are a child of God, you can like Edison thank God and start anew as the book of Lamentations so graciously reminds us in chapter 3:22-23, "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."

Did you get that, loved one, in a world where everything is one day going to go up in a puff of smoke one thing remains, and that is the mercy of God. His compassion for you and me along with His great faithfulness never fails, it never gives in! That is so good to know! Don’t give up today, beloved of God, don’t give in! Make it your prayer as I make it mine today too, loved one, "God grant me the faith and the strength to hold on five minutes longer. Help me to see today through the eyes of faith and fill me overflowing with the power of love, for love never fails. In Jesus name!"

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Galatians 6:9  


Michael Osthimer





no categories


no tags