Monday, January 14, 2008

Team Jesus

Today I'm trying to comfort my husband Gene. Last night his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Giants.
No Super Bowl party at our house this year.

Gene has been a faithful fan of the Cowboys since he was a kid. A die hard fan who wouldn't think of changing teams based on their performance. He is passionate about his 'Boys and everyone knows it. Thankfully, he had a meeting to attend last night when his friend Paul, who is a huge Green Bay Packers fan called him after the game. Based on Paul's laughter, I'm sure he wasn't calling to comfort my sad Cowboy.

So, America's team reluctantly hangs up their cleats until next season. Gene is so bummed. I don't even think a favorite meal would console this Dallas Cowboy cheerleader right now as he has lost his appetite.

Sounds a bit melodramatic to you, I'm sure. It's just a game, get over it. No, it's his passion. He loves the game of football. Could tell you anything you need to know about it. Names, stats, scores, college the player came from. You ask him, he has an answer for you. Knows the history and not just of his team, he knows the NFL. He knows the game. He could join the best sports announcers behind an ESPN desk and capture your attention with his knowledge. He rejoices when his team wins, stands amazed at the athleticism he sees weekly and stays faithful no matter how they perform.

When I look at the relationship I have with God it is just so much the same. He knows me. He knows everything about me and no matter if I win or lose this week, He remains faithful to me. He may be disappointed in me, but He doesn't turn His back on me when I mess up. You ask Him, He could tell you everything about me. He knows where I've come from and where I'm going. He knows me.
Jeremiah 1:5
Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.

The Cowboys had on all parts of their uniforms last night. They had their pads on, their socks, their helmets, their mouth guards. They were protected from head to toe. They came prepared to win, but somehow they still lost the game.

Doesn't that happen with us sometimes? When we put on the full armor of God as we are told to do in Ephesians 6 sometimes we still may feel like we've lost the game if we don't get the outcome we thought we were going to get. Everyday we put on our belt of truth, our breastplate of righteousness and our feet are fitted with readiness from the gospel of peace. Our shield of faith is in hand, our helmet of salvation is on our head and we have the sword of the Spirit, our Bible in hand and in our hearts. We are ready for an attack from the enemy and yet at halftime we're questioning God. "Lord, what is going wrong here??? I'm doing everything you have told me to do and yet the scoreboard is telling me that I'm a loser."

Gene played ball for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 80's and he has told me how the players have huge playbooks they have to memorize. They have to know what to do when the team they're up against tries to attack. They have to recognize what plays their quarterback is yelling out. Our playbook is our Bible. If we memorize it then when we are faced with an attack from the enemy, we will recognize what to do based upon God's Word.
Imagine God being your Holy Quarterback. Are you willing to run where He tells you to go? Are you willing to follow His instruction when you don't understand why He's asking this of you?

My parents do foster care and recently had to return a baby that has been in their lives since she was 2 months old. This Thursday she will turn two years old . She was in a home where she was loved so much and returned to a young mom who has verbalized her hate for this child. Doesn't make since, but they had to trust their Quarterback because they are not running the plays here, He is. They are just a teammate. After she was taken did they turn in their foster care license and not take anymore kids in? No, they now have a 1 month old in their home that they picked up from the hospital when she was only a few days old.
New game, new plays, same Quarterback.

This morning on ESPN there wasn't one Dallas player who blamed their quarterback. Not one of his teammates turned their back on him and walked away. They put on their protection before the game, and ran the plays he told them to during the game. At half time they may have asked questions, but when they came back on the field they put their trust right back in him and continued to follow his lead. What they wanted, they didn't get. Super Bowl Champs is a crushed dream for them.

Sometimes, God says "no" to us for a better "yes" down the road for He's the only one who can see the whole picture. Will you choose to trust Him when you don't understand the plays He's asking you to execute or will you hang up your cleats and walk away? Lord, help me to follow my husband's example and no matter what, never change teams. Help me to be faithful to You no matter how defeated I may feel.

Be ready to receive a catch from your Holy Quarterback, for you never know who may follow you into the Eternal End Zone.

And as for my saddened Cowboy who told me this morning that he is boycotting the Super Bowl this year, I will join you in fasting and prayer tonight that Paul's Green Bay Packers lose! (Just kidding!)
I love you Geno!

~Many Blessings~


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