Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
It was a long day. I can’t tell you how many times I have said it. My wife, Judy, often greets me at the end of the workday as I come home. She will say, “How was your day today?” And sometimes I will respond, “It was one long day.” Then there are other times, often on a Friday or Saturday, when the day seems to stretch on forever. I get so much done around the house and yard and at the end, I tell Judy, “What a great long day today.” Often the circumstances of the day seem to dictate how the day will be remembered and perceived.
Perhaps you are familiar with the date, June 6th. No? What if I were to add the year 1944 to the equation? Well, if you have studied your history you probably made the connection with World War II and you might have even remembered that was the day of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France—the beginning of the end of that great conflict. It was a massive under-taking and the outcome was never a sure thing. But at the end of the day, and with great cost, the Allies gained a foothold on the European continent. Someone there that day called it, “the longest day.” And it was.
All of us have “longest days” and yes, I know that 2020 may have seemed like 366 of them. Sometimes those “longest days” cause us to mourn, but sometimes they are a reason to celebrate. For my wife and me, January 24th was one of those. You see, on that day, forty years ago this year, our first daughter was born, and it was a long and exciting day.
Late Thursday evening Judy started having some consistent labor pains and when they didn’t stop, we knew it was time to head to the hospital. When we arrived, they decided to keep her and the journey began in earnest. Judy had decided to have Rebecca without much intervention from medicine, so it was a challenging process. By the way, if it had been me, I would have had every drug available to modern man. We all know if populating the world was left in the hands of men—it would be a very, small world.
At any rate, the hours began to pass. As the clock ticked the seconds, minutes and hours by, it soon became apparent that this was not going to be a sprint but rather a marathon. All day Friday, I (her faithful husband) stayed by her side, encouraging her each step of the way. Well, okay, maybe there were a couple of exceptions. A friend of mine brought me a huge burger and fries which I dutifully ate while Judy watched—no, make that glared. What was I thinking? Oh, that’s right…I wasn’t.
The hours continued to tick by and soon it was evening and while things were progressing, Rebecca was determined to delay her grand arrival. Finally, at about midnight, Dr. Dickerson, came in to check on Judy and announced it was about time. I had the television on and one of those ultra-low budget Japanese monster movies was on. Before long, the doctor and I were enthralled with the movie. So, while Judy was groaning in labor, the doctor and I watched as Godzilla ate up the known world.
Finally, the movie was over, and Dr. Dickerson announced it was time to head to the delivery room. Coincidence? I was allowed to go in and not much later, Rebecca made her grand appearance. The baby was crying, Judy was more than relieved and crying, and I was more than excited and crying. As it turned out, Judy had endured 23 hours of labor before Rebecca was born. Oh, and when she arrived, she weighed 8 lbs. 15.5 ounces. What a prize!
For years and every once -in-a-while, even today we still talk of our longest day. Well, actually, it was Judy’s longest day. For me it was burgers, fries and a cheesy monster movie. But for both of us it was a day we will never forget—the day God blessed us with our first daughter. And before it was all said and done—He would bless us two more times with two more daughters and later with eight grandchildren. That is incredible. And what’s more incredible? The next day, the pastor asked me to speak on the radio and give my testimony for Baptist Men’s Day. I’m sure that longest day was part of what I said that day and God used that to launch me—us— into the ministry of pastoring.
So, when you have your longest day, keep in mind a couple of thoughts. First, every day is created by the Creator God. His Word says tells us that this day, every day, is a gift that He created just for us. How about that? And if we will allow God to direct our steps in that day, we will not only endure—we can thrive. I know it seems sometimes that the finish line—the prize, is always just out of reach—but it will come if we keep on.
Paul was one of the writers in the New Testament and he knew a whole lot about long days. He may not have known about the labor pains that produce babies, but he did know a lot about the kind of “labor pains” life can sometimes send our way. He said, “Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” The bottom-line is don’t give up—don’t quit. And by the way, even if you are not a Jesus follower, that is still good advice. The farmer gets the harvest if he keeps working the field. The good news is that God is just waiting to help you through every day, including your longest day. He is right there and mark it down, “He’s got this.”