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Friday, January 22, 2010

As 2010 Begins . . . (Con't)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope the Lord is. (Jer. 17:7)

It is in defeat that we often have the greatest opportunity to give glory to God. When the chips are down, the world watches with special interest to see if our faith is real, if it has substance.

Such was the case on Thursday night, January 8 in Pasadena. The 2009-10 BCS Championship college football game had concluded and it was late. The Longhorns of Texas had been defeated by the Alabama Crimson Tide and Colt McCoy, the starting quarterback of the University of Texas, approached the television cameras on the sidelines. After the 2008 season, in which he had been an All-American and runner-up for the prestigious Heisman Trophy, McCoy had decided against entering the pro draft and instead returned to Texas to complete his senior year, determined to lead his team to a national championship. But in what seemed a cruel irony, McCoy, within sight of his goal, had been forced to leave the game in the first quarter. A hit received on an otherwise routine tackle left his throwing arm numb and McCoy spent the rest of the game receiving treatment and encouraging his teammates from the sidelines. Despite the heroic efforts of the untried freshman quarterback who replaced him, McCoy and his team failed to reach the goal they had worked so hard to attain.

As McCoy came alongside the post-game interviewer, the concern and disappointment among his many supporters was palpable. The dream of a national championship had vanished, and his yet unevaluated injury left a question mark hanging over his future prospects as a football player.

However, there was no question mark hanging over McCoy's Christian faith. Asked to tell the television audience what it was like to watch his team play for the national title from the sidelines, McCoy gave the following memorable answer:

I'd have given . . . I'd have given everything I had to be out there with my team. ....But I always give God the glory. I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life. And I know, if nothing else, I stand on the Rock.

It is easy for us to praise God when life is going our way - when the jury finds for our client or our daughter is named high school valedictorian. But when setbacks come, let us not disdain to take a page from Colt McCoy's playbook. Our misfortune may afford us the opportunity of demonstrating costly faith to a watching world.

Lord, as another year begins, You are my Audience of One. Teach me to see an opportunity in every event, whether it seems "good" or "bad." I want to be one who trusts You in all the times of life, especially when praising You costs something. Like Colt McCoy, I know that if nothing else, I stand on the Rock.

~ With thanks to Brent McBurney, Director of Attorney Ministries, Christian Legal Society

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