I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. I might have if the 49er’s had made through the playoffs but no such luck this year. I have been a “Niner’s” fan ever since they could barely win 2 games a season but I don’t watch football much these days.
All the hoopla about the big game and several recent conversations about what I do have gotten me to thinking about what my life feels like it may look like if it were a football game. Imagine it’s halfway through the 3rd quarter, the other team is up by 6 touchdowns and I have so many false start penalties I’m on the 99 yard line, or the 1 yard line with 99 years to go for the touch down, not really sure which of those is the right way to say that but they express the same thought and feeling: I’m behind in life and don’t seem to have a chance of catching up.
How did I get here? Start a project or down a path and life throws me one cruddy pass after another. Regain my footing, start down the field with the ball too soon only for life to throw that false start penalty flag at me. One more time and maybe I’ll gain some ground but I fumble the ball. Examine my plays, adjust the playbook as I think I should only to come up short again and again by the mistakes I make or the opposition I face whether I’m playing offense or defense.
As I write this, something profound is jumping out at me. I’ve often tried to be the coach, and the quarterback and the receiver all at the same time. Now we all know that no football game has ever been one this way. It’s just not possible.
Have you ever felt this way? Life you are behind in life and you’ll never catch up? Can I share a few words of encouragement that might help us both out?
First, we must recognize that our feelings are not always representative of the truth. Just because we feel like we’ve dropped the ball or missed the kick, doesn’t necessarily mean that we have failed. Even if we really have fouled up, we’re not the first ones to do so and nothing is wasted in God’s economy. We can learn from our mistakes and maybe even help others avoid the same mistakes.
“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26
Second, if we really want to make progress towards the goal, we need to exchange our playbook for God’s. His ways are better, maybe not always easier, but definitely better because He can see every play we need to make to get to the end of the game victoriously. And no matter how many false starts we have, if we are trusting God, He can turn it around in an instant.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Third, God loves us. He has a plan and a purpose for everything He allows to tackle us or push us out of bounds. We may not always understand that plan so when we begin to get frustrated or feel defeated, we need to take a time out, gather our thoughts, sit with the best coach there ever could be, Jesus, and rest.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Lastly, we need to trust in His timing. There may be a time of waiting, a time of preparation, or a time of practice that keep us sidelined for awhile. If we can learn to be okay on the bench and wait for God’s okay to engage in the next play, we will experience a peace and confidence in the Lord that will allow us to confidently step into the position He has for us.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
All of these encouragements I’ve shared take faith, believing that God is good and that He can bring about good from every circumstance we encounter. I pray that today your faith is strengthened!
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
If I can pray for you in some way, please leave a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org