what a man can endure

I just finished reading the book The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz. It's this incredible true story of a Polish officer who was taken prisoner by the Russians during World War II. He was accused of being a spy and put through unbelievable tortures before finally being sentenced to 25 yrs hard labor in a camp in southern Siberia. A camp he and 6,000 other prisoners had to march some hundreds of miles through Siberian winter to get to. And that isn't even the Long Walk he is referring to in his title.

I don't want to give to much of the book away, but suffice it to say that he marched thousands of more miles and endured unimaginable hardships before the book's end.

He was 25 when he did this. My age.

When I think about what a man can truly endure I am amazed. If we needed to, we could go days without food or water. If we really needed to, we could walk 20 miles a day every day for days without food or water. It makes me wonder what I can really endure. I mean I complain a lot. It's too hot, its too cold, I'm starving, I think I'm dying. I have never starved a day in my life.

Weeks at a time without food, without water, cracked and blistered feet, lice, stink, and thousands of miles of desert, mountains and icy rivers ahead of him before he reached freedom.
All Slav needed was hope, and of course the friends who kept him hopeful. That finish line is what got him there. The hope of reaching the end, the hope for freedom.

The fuel for endurance is hope.

I can endure this.

Whatever I am going through right now I can endure it.

Whether it's a broken heart, a broken spirit, a broken faith - the worst of all things - I can endure it, if only there is hope.