You’re deep into the final quarter of a sports match. You’ve been down and out the first three quarters. You’ve tried everything you know and it just isn’t working your way. It’s tough going and the opposition team just don’t seem to let up.
But you’re still in the game. Better yet, you’ve got a secret weapon. You’ve got a game plan no one else has seen. You think this is it, this is going to hurt the opposition, this is going to work.
You gather in the team, unveil the new plan. They head out onto the field and start the play in motion. It is working beautifully, it all seems to be going to plan! You launch up ready to start the celebrations when…
The opposition somehow takes over. Your play is still in action, it is okay, you had planned for some retaliation. But then it continues. The onslaught, not only does the opposition side take down your offensive play, they destroy your defences. They score, not once, but multiple times. Not only have they destroyed your attack and defence, but they are using YOUR PLAY to THEIR BENEFIT!
It is as if the opposition have read your playbook and are using your plays to their advantage. How did they get such insider information?! There is no point now, the game is over and you are totally and utterly defeated.
With my sport-focused mind, this is how I have reflected upon the passage in Romans 8:28...
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
The narrative above is written from the perspective of the devil, someone who wants to oppose us.
Game of Life
In the ‘game of life’ sometimes it can feel like a war between good and evil in our lives. We may see God do a miracle or perform some wonderful deed in our lives and we celebrate, having it feel like a goal. At other times the ‘game of life’ may feel like our defences are down and the devil is having a field day using any opportunity to score against us. It may feel like we are the only ones on the field against a team of opposition.
I take comfort in this verse, however, that whilst the devil may have plans against us. God, not only is he going to stop these but, in actual fact, will use what the devil conjured up for our demise, to be a blessing! We can see examples of this in the Bible. That whilst those, chosen by God may face hardships – when surrendered to God, they are used for His good and His Glory.
Job’s biography in the Bible tells the story of a man stripped of his possessions. In one day he lost all of his livestock, his possessions, and his children. The story of his mourning and questioning amid great need is one we can learn a lot from. In the end
“The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were thrown into a blazing furnace that was commanded to be seven times hotter than usual at the fury of the King. So hot was the furnace that these three were thrown into for refusing the worship of a golden statue, that it killed the soldiers who threw these three in there. These men, by faith, survived and were given special privileges and provisions by the king on account of the miracle through which God saved them.
The disciples of the early church were sent out through Jesus’ commission to
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19.
To begin with they suffered a huge amount of persecution and were split up. This persecution of the early church spread believers to so many different areas of the world, the message of the Gospel spread far and wide.
God is Coach
The Bible is littered with stories, time and time again, of a God who, not only stops the plans of the devil. But uses them for His purposes. What power lies in surrendering our match plans to the God who is in control like that.
“I will even make a road in the wilderness. And rivers in the desert.”Isaiah 43:19
Kelly Thompson is the newest member of the Sports journalist team. Kelly currently plays AFL for Casey Demons in the VFLW, and practices what she preaches as a HOPE (Health, Outdoor, and Physical Education) Teacher in Melbourne’s southeast.