I am a football fan. It would probably be fairly accurate to say that I am a full fledged fanatic. I love the game at every level. I’m the wild woman in the stands at my sons little league games; the intent listener during the radio broadcast of Friday Night Football; the screaming lunatic who unleashes all sorts of fury at the ref on television when my team is down in the 4th.
So when our small town high school team traveled to the state championship game last fall, this chic was over the moon! They were the least likely to win, (at least according to their opponents). It was a nail-biter of a game, but our guys came out on top. Despite the obstacles they faced: fighting off the nay-sayers, pushing past physical pain, sacrificing of their time & talent; overwhelming victory was theirs for the taking.
Not unlike my hometown football team, we are often the underdogs in this life. We face trial after excruciating trial that leads us to doubt that a victory will ever be within our reach, especially one of overwhelming proportions. We are pressed on every side by our burdens. We in-turn allow ourselves to believe that these low-points in our lives are evidence that God has removed His hand from us. We ask ourselves, how can a god who loves me permit these hardships?
Think of the people in your life whom you love. Are those relationships free from difficulty and pain? I highly doubt that they are. Are the problems that you encounter with your loved ones caused by an absence of care and affection? While it may sometimes be the case, most of the time it isn’t a lack of love that brings about trouble but life in general. This also is true of our Lord and Savior. He loves us with an everlasting love. He keeps a watchful eye on His children and never allows us more than we are able to handle. He isn’t sitting on his throne in heaven strategically placing hurdles in our path at an attempt to trip us up. That is the work of our enemy, the evil one who works relentlessly at setting traps for us, hoping to steal our peace. But as the above verse states, we have the promise of an overwhelming victory. Another way of saying the same thing would be: a crushing defeat over our adversaries. It is not a battle that can be won within our own abilities. However, with Christ, who loved us enough to die for us, no feat is too great.
The next time you are faced with a challenge that seems impossible to move past, call upon the Lord and He will answer you. Take heart in the words of 2 Corinthians 4, verses 8-10, from The Message
“We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us.”