"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
Last night, everyone with in 300 miles of Detroit heard the sound of the Red Wings dominating a difficult opponent. And, just a few days outside of the last Red Wings article http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-20894-Detroit-Methodist-Examiner~y2010m5d2-The-long-road-of-a-champion , Todd Bertuzzi found himself in the winner's circle as his line was shifted to add the likes of Johan Franzen to combine with Henrik Zetterberg. Todd had the first goal, Franzen had the next three, and one more later for an amazing four goals in one night. This performance put Todd at second overall for assists in the playoffs, and Franzen second for goals and first for assists. So, what was it that happened?
Take a look at the verse above. There is a distinct reassurance having to do with fear and discouragement. But, how do we know if we have courage? It is only in the face of adversity that character is truly seen. In other words, it is only when there is a reason to be afraid that courage truly matters. Last night was such a night for the Detroit Red Wings. If they had lost, it would have ended their season, as well as their hopes to go the Western Conference Finals. It was last night that men like Bertuzzi, Franzen and Zetterberg seemed to be renewed and even refreshed by their desire to overcome. When that happened, the game was never even close.
And so, since this is a Christian column, let us step away from sports and into the bigger picture. How many times do we find ourselves managing to our fears and weaknesses? Instead of seeking victory, we look only to protect that which we are afraid to lose. We stop believing in God's will for us, and even in the skills and gifts with which He has blessed us. Unfortunately, every great blessing requires great sacrifice. In Biblical terms, we need to leave the desert and face the giants. Sometimes we need only march around the fortress of adversity and allow our faith in God to bring it crashing down. (for clarification, see Joshua 5:13 through 6:27) Any way you look at it, we have to show up.
Finding yourself with your back to the wall can be a great blessing, friends. For it is then that we often make the decision to stand. After all, what is left to lose? If that is where you find yourself today, be grateful. Our gratitude is often the key that unlocks the further blessings God has prepared for us. Many times, the best way to move beyond your current scenario is to be thankful for it. So, if you see a hard situation ahead, apply a generous portion of gratitude and watch your burdens turn into blessings.
Be blessed this weekend, friends. There are too many things to be thankful for to focus on those we wish would go away. Please tune in again next week as we discuss life, faith, and the Red Wings upcoming victory against San Jose! (We speak in faith) Until then, God bless and keep reading.