I feel like this weekend in the world of sports gave us several examples of never giving up. As my boys and I watched a few minutes of several different games this weekend, here’s what we witnessed:
- Ohio State defeating Notre Dame in the final seconds of the game.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates staging the largest comeback in franchise history after they were losing 9-0 to the Cincinnati Reds (sorry for sharing this to the Reds fans in our church).
- The Indianapolis Colts coming back from behind to defeat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime thanks to the leg of their star kicker, Matt Gay, who kicked 4 field goals over 50 years for the first time in NFL history.
- The Indiana Hoosiers football team eventually beating the Akron Zips in 4 overtimes never giving up on their offense. (Yes, I had to add even this often-rare Indiana football victory!)
These come-from-behind victories reminded me of the power of never giving up. While they might be trivial examples, they still illustrate the power of putting our minds in a place where we move forward play by play, pitch by pitch, step by step, and moment by moment. Every step back and every challenge is a chance to learn, grow, and adjust. I think I’ve moved from the sports world to life in my illustration.
As people of faith, we are taught to never give up because we ultimately know who we are as we seek to follow Jesus. We might face challenges or setbacks this week, but we can choose to not give up, take a deep breath, and take a step forward. This topic reminds me of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and the young stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint,”Isaiah 40:29-31
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength every moment. They will not give up because God walks with them. No matter with this day or this week brings to us, whether we’re faced with something very challenging or a speedbump in the direction we hope to go, I pray we won’t give up. I pray that we’ll take a deep breath, say a prayer, and offer our frustration to God, then take a step.
My son is learning to tie his shoes. That’s a hard thing to do until you get it. He tried, struggled, then stopped. He would take a deep breath, then try again only to become frustrated again with the loop-around part of the shoe-tying experience. I kept telling him, “Don’t give up. Try again. You can do it.” The other day as I was showing him how to do it yet again, this time was different. His face lit up as he said, “I see it! I can do this.” Then, he did it. He didn’t give up.
Don’t give up this week. Try again. Say a prayer. Know that God is with you. You can do this!