This past weekend my son was able to participate in a basketball camp at Liberty University. When I picked him up after the camp he was worn out (and very sore.) The coaching staff and players at LU had really put the boys through it!
As he told me about the weekend I was impressed by the “welcome” that the staff/team gave to the boys. Coach Layer explained to them that he wanted them to see what Division 1 basketball was really like. He then sent his players onto the court for a demonstration of how physical and intense things are. They followed that with a weekend of having the campers put forth the same type of effort. My son told me he understood why players wear the padded compression gear. He said he was hurting and bruised in ways he had never experienced before.
What I appreciate about that approach is that things were not sugar-coated and glamorized. That level of play is not about bright lights and press clippings – it is about hard work and dedication. It was a true picture of the blood, sweat, and tears required.
It reminded of a great quote that “he who works the hardest is the last to surrender.”
This is especially important when relating to life. The Christian bookstores are filled with empty, glamorous promises that life will all of the sudden be peachy for believers. Yet Jesus makes a promise of a “Helper” (Comforter) for us when He leaves earth. Doesn’t that indicate that we are in uncomfortable situations? God calls Himself a “shelter” and a “refuge.” Doesn’t that indicate life will have storms? Paul talked of peace and joy in spite of circumstances. And the list could go on and on…
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— (John 14)
9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 9)
9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4)
Life is hard! Pray harder!