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Get in the Game

The man who knows that You are his strength is a man who is blessed.
The man whose deep desire is to walk in God’s will is a man who is blessed.
Difficulties become to him a source where he drinks freely of God’s power,
and experiences His touch of refreshment and blessing
much like an early spring rain.
His strength does not waver—for it is the Lord’s strength.

Paraphrase: Psalm 84: 5-7

Her level of excitement is probably just a little below Christmas Eve intensity. So what’s the momentous occasion? She’s going to play soccer! The first game of the season! Of course she and her teammates are dressed for the opener and that’s 98% of the game! Cool jerseys.

Her Dad is the coach and he’s talked to her and practiced with her and now the show (game) is ready to begin. She races out on the field with great enthusiasm, stops suddenly, looks around, and bursts into tears—completely overwhelmed by what she faces! Dad motions for her to come to the sidelines, gives her a hug and some tenderness and sends in a replacement. It isn’t long until she’s leading cheers for her team, “The Sharktails!”

It’s soccer time again one week later. She’s practiced, been encouraged by the coach and stays on the field. Her goal, however, is to stay as far away from the ball as possible which she accomplishes.

Another week and it’s soccer time again! She’s running with the team this time and through no skill of her own, gets to kick the ball in for a point! She loves the cheers from the crowd, the “high-fives” from her team, and the hugs from the coach. Next soccer game she’s out there, in the middle of the crowd, kicking at the ball, cheering and having a great time. “I kicked in our first goal!” High-fives and hugs all around! Her name is Cate and she’s five years old.

Isn’t that how we learn? We get in the game, blow it, try again, do a little better, make some points, keep practicing and decide to head for the Olympics! Of course, our Coach is the real winner. He instructs, watches for panic attacks, encourages, and is always ready to give us the pat that says, “You’re doing a great job!”

But do you know what our Coach keeps trying to instill in us? “Remember. I’ll do it all for you. You get out there, run and kick, wave your arms in the air, yell encouragement to your teammates, and then watch me come through for you.” He watches as we stand in the middle of the field and cry—panic stricken, overwhelmed by the awesome task, and all the while He’s talking to us, coaching us, “You’re trying to do it all in your own strength. Let Me do it for you!”

You know, Cate is too little to understand yet, but we’re mature, intelligent adults, aren’t we? “Yes, Anabel, but I stood in the middle of the field and cried just yesterday.” And what did your Coach do? Embarrass you in front of everyone? Yell at you? Call you names? “No. He called me over to the sidelines and gently reminded me that I was not playing the way He has instructed me to play—by His rules.” We’re undaunted! We’re heading for the All Star team and we’re confident. We ARE going to make it!

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.