This past week my team played against a team that simply is too good for us.I know that doesn't mesh with the typical "coach-speak" and bravado that accompanies sports. Yet there was absolutely no position in which we were not in a huge mismatch. They were bigger, stronger, faster, more skilled, and more experienced to the man!
I was talking with a young man from another team about that situation and he asked what I say to my guys in such a situation. It was a good question because we at times know we are headed for a good ole' fashion butt-whoopin'. Yet there still should be expectations of how we play.
First of all I tell my guys the fundamental basketball things they need to know and do that will help them compete - (even though the other team made that next to impossible to do.) But I also spend a lot of time talking about what success is. In a situation like the recent game I remind them they are going to play a basketball game - not going into a knife fight - fear is not needed! Setting the proper understanding of the situation is important.
Isn't life a lot like this? We look at so many situations as though they are the end of the world - no hope - the sky is falling. Yet for the believer all of these situations are temporal! What si the worst that could happen? We have security in Christ. We have a God that is on our side. We have a hope that is sure.
The Scriptures ask death where its sting is. I think the same question can be asked of life itself. Life holds no permanents for us. It is temporal. And God is eternal. Life in Christ is eternal. No matter how bad things may seem - they will pass. No matter how bad things seem - we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
In the game I started out talking about, we got our tails kicked in a major way. The fact is that life sometimes does that to us. Yet we can only play the "game" to God's glory - at the end of the day look in the mirror and know we "played" well and that joy comes in the morning!
5 For His anger is but for a moment,His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30)
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. (Psalm 42)