For some reason, when you watch a markedly one-sided football game, you just have to feel for the underdogs...and especially those who play some of the not-so-glorious but ever-so-necessary positions. I got to empathizing with a poor little place kicker on Saturday, then wondered to myself why on earth I was drawn to HIM of all the players to feel sorry for. Well....after meditating on it a wee bit more that night whilst rocking a fussy baby to sleep, I realized I've played that position a time or two in life. Come with me to the playing field of my mind, will you?
It's the first play of the second half. My team is down by too many points to ever come back from; shoot, at this point we can barely save our dignity, we've been whooped up on so badly. Most of our starting players are already injured and the second and third strings are showing signs of exhaustion from the sheer mental torment of this horrid game. We just want to go home, but we have to get through another two quarters. Here I stand, staring down the field at the largest line of human beasts I've ever faced, all with one goal in mind--the ball I have to kick downfield. No big deal, right? Hey, I've been trained to kick this ball well. I've been doing this for several years already, and I'm pretty good at it. So why on earth am I so scared?
Where is my backup?? My special team....their job is to make sure that ball doesn't get returned to our end zone by these behemoths, they aren't in the business of protecting ME! But yet, here I stand behind this teed football, feeling very small and insignificant all of a sudden. Oh, get on with it already, feet....let's just kick this ball, get tackled by the stampede, and get off the field. That's my job, right?
Sometimes in life, trudging through the rough course of life side-by-side with people of like goal is encouraging...but sometimes, even having a whole line of people running right there with you in the same direction can leave you feeling isolated and vulnerable. Why? Well, because they aren't always there for your protection. Like the special team assigned to a kickoff, every player has his or her own job to do--and while the team as a whole works well together, that can leave one weak player open to attack while the others are off tackling their own giants. The game of life is not easy; God never promised Christians a quiet, calm, peaceable life free of turmoil. He never promised protection from the harms of this life. He DID, however, promise us that as long as we're "playing for the right team", even though we may be the underdogs at times, He's right there at the sidelines, coaching us on and offering guidance and the protection from spiritual harm.
Satan has some mighty big players on his team, but those of us wearing a jersey washed in the blood of Christ have a distinct advantage--we're playing a game that has already been won!