I love running, but stretching…not so much. There’s just something about it. Maybe it’s the initial pain and discomfort it causes, not to mention the time it takes. Personally, I’d rather just get on with the workout.
But stretching has its place. It helps with flexibility, range of motion, and blood circulation, to name just a few of the benefits. Health experts insist that stretching is totally worth your time.
Sometimes it seems that life itself is one big stretch. We’re getting pulled and twisted in so many different directions, over-extended here and there like a rubber-band that is just about to snap. We silently wonder, how much more can I withstand? How much longer can I hold this position before I break?
In Psalm 71, the writer looks back over his long journey and acknowledges the tension he feels living between the rock-solid loyalty of God on one side and the exhausting orneriness of men on the other. For the sake of his own elasticity, he says to God:
But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more. -Psalm 71:14
When life is a stretch, hope stretches with it.
Behind the phrase “hope continually” is the idea of stretching or extending further than before. The psalmist found that his hope for the future – anchored in the Lord – was definitely strained, but not even close to a breaking point. So, he determined to continue trusting, waiting, and hoping, even in the midst of his difficult circumstances.
Are you on a painful stretch right now? Feeling like you might snap? Remember this: No matter how much you stretch it, the hope that is yours in the living Christ will never break.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.