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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Don't Quit

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1

This fall my 11-year-old son asked to play tackle football. We had been very hesitant about him playing football for obvious reasons. We decided to go for it because our son is a strong athlete, and we thought it would be a good learning experience for him. My husband also agreed to help coach the team.

He went into it with great confidence. He had played flag football before, so he knew how to run plays, and he knew the game. But tackling was a new experience for him . . . he doesn’t even have brothers! His personality is not very aggressive, and this showed on the football field. During one of the first few games he took a hard hit and came off the field. He told his dad he wanted to sit out. I watched him. I know him. I could tell that though it hurt, he wasn’t injured.

I also knew that my son needed to get back out there. I knew that if he sat on the sidelines the rest of the game, his nervousness and fear would grow. We encouraged our son to get back in the game. Although he was sore, he finished the game. The boys ended up winning the game in the last few seconds, and my son got to be a part of it. Because he challenged his fear, he grew as a player and as a person.

Often when we get hurt, we head for the sidelines to sit out. Loving people the way Christ calls us to can get messy, and sometimes we get hurt in the process. Standing up for Truth often comes with a backlash. Turning the other cheek is difficult. Parenting is HARD. God says, in this world you WILL have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome. He did not say, when you have trouble, withdraw and stop trying. We are often called as Jesus-followers to do the hard thing because our world opts for easy every time. But we are not of this world. We love others first. Because he loved us first.

My son came through his first season of tackle football with bumps and bruises, for sure. But he also learned more than I ever could have hoped about teamwork and life in general.

Lord, give us strength to keep working even when life is tough. Thank you that You never leave us to do it alone.    


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