The truth is every person on this earth is going to face times when they do not know which way to go. Sometimes that might be in a challenging season where it is each minute to the next. Sometimes it comes with an unexpected challenge that hits seemingly out of nowhere. And on, and on… life has so many daily decisions to make. From simple to difficult. The Christian life, with convictions, temptations, the flesh warring, and the desire to go towards Jesus.
For my son, the challenge at this current season, is basketball. He has played on a wonderful Christian Home School League for a few years. The coaches have been the hands and feet of Jesus to steer him on the court in the thinking process.
Physically, he can play basketball quite well. The challenge comes in the intricate step by step thinking. This new season it is with the faster pace, upper level, high school boys. While the coaches work according to his ability, there are just simply times when it cannot be helped that he is left focusing in so hard, to figure out what he is supposed to do next. When a play is called, and a set up is required, the thinking process to recall what that particular play is, and how that looks in the midst of a giant mob of players everywhere is completely stressful.
Last practice the literal energy was sucked out of him, with barely anything left in his physical body. Sure, the physical exertion is a factor, but it is the mental thinking effort, the stress that really takes a toll. He never complains. He handles it like a soldier. He is able this year, to express exactly what the difficulty is, and pin point, those moments that are utterly stressful. He is also able to rejoice that other moments of the game are not stressful and good.
So, what do I tell my son? He had a stroke. My mommy emotions escalated to top notch level. I then, run to Jesus. I know exactly what I will tell my son. If you had a broken leg and tried to run down the court it would add extra stress and difficulty to your participation in basketball. Thus, the inward part that no one sees, in your brain, has a small injury that makes “running” through plays very difficulty. That is truth. No one else has to see it. Regardless, we know. That is truth.
I told him, God is growing him. Basketball is not the point in all this. Growing in Jesus is. He will be done with this league in another few years and he will be off to becoming a full on young man with new and greater responsibilities. I guarantee him that his walk with Jesus, the Christian life he is called to walk in fullness, will be difficult. So difficult at times that he will have choices to make. Issues to deal with, that are going to feel stressful. He will need to depend on Jesus. His every word. His wisdom. His truth. His love to help guide his way.
Isaac is learning, once again to depend on Jesus. As he struggles to understand what to do on the court, he is learning to believe God will lead him. One moment to the next. Though difficult. It will be okay. God is with him.
HE can know that he is not alone, that though perhaps none of the other boys on the team are wrestling with such mentally stressful decisions on the basketball court, they will come to those times in life, as we all do. God is preparing Isaac through basketball for life. All the boys are learning in one way or another about the Christian life through this sport. Isaac is learning trust through the difficulty of stroke. He has from early on. I have learned trust and dependency on God through stroke. Through difficulty, we are refined and yearn for more of Jesus.
He is learning, he will need to depend on the Lord on that basketball court. Walk by faith. Believing God will “somehow” by God’s grace alone get him to the next step.
This is the verse that I shared again with him today.
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Is. 42:16
Our gracious Lord put this verse in here for all His children. All who will call upon Him as Lord and Savior and depend on Him. We will be stuck. The path before us unclear. Our gracious God promises us, as we depend on Him, what HE WILL do for us.
It doesn’t mean that it will be easy. There will be difficulty, God WILL lead right on through it. And His promise is HE IS WITH US. He will never forsake us. We will also see the Victory.
That’s what I want most for my sons to comprehend. I am thankful for a league that also has this very same mindset. Basketball is the lesser skill we are focusing on. But oh how wonderful God will use basketball to train up our sons in the way they should go, in trusting JESUS in their walk with Him with every fiber of their being. Minute by minute. Day by day. Week by week. Until they meet Him.
And oh what beauty that hours after I initially wrote this article, we headed to practice again. How did God provide for Isaac? By way of his brothers in Christ!!! Brothers who are for him as Jesus is. Brothers who are doing what the Body of Christ is all about. They supported him. All of of them on board, to support Isaac and when needed, directed him quickly. Placed where he needed to be, he thrived. He then, being an important member of this team. Apart of the Body of Christ. A brother in the Lord, was strengthened and ABLE to support them. Stealing the ball, passing onward, assisting, and helping produce a wonderful outcome.
How did the Lord provide that night? Isaac did become weakened in his body after an extra long practice, and back to back scrimmage games. However, when it was all said and done, he marveled. “huh… I became weak out there, but somehow, it seemed like I was still doing well”. I had no idea he felt that depleted, I had a hunch, possibly, but what I saw was strength, falling to the floor to wrestle over a loose ball, pulling it out of the grip of another, remembering to not stand with that ball or it would be called as traveling, passing it on to another brother.
The Lord is faithful. When we trust in HIM and not our own understanding, He does the most amazing things!
When we are weak, HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT.
We will soar on eagles wings. When we believe His WORD we are given hope. We are given victory.
In the parable Jesus spoke. He mentioned a master who gave different amounts of gifts to be used to varying servants. Different amounts according to each one’s ability. Enter into the JOY of the LORD is what we do, when we embrace what GOD HAS GIVEN US, and invest it for HIM! Not to us, but to HIS NAME. BE THE GLORY.
I am blessed to share this story. Blessed that he is sweet to welcome me to share this story. He understands, sharing our stories, testimonies, is important to spur one another on.