A hard loss
Giving it your best…does not always end in success or victory. But that should never deter us from going ‘all out’. Some of my most concentrated efforts fell flat. In fact, many! Our BGA football team was 8-0 and entering our ninth game. It was in the town where I was born; and my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, were in attendance. You can imagine how I felt. DRIVEN to play well and win. I am a senior, we are ranked 3rd in Tennessee, and this game could possibly secure a prominent bowl, and win the State Championship. We lost 25-14 but I played my heart, no my ‘guts’ out to win. It still hurts!
Can you relate to that? What has been that ‘game’ you went all out and lost? Was it in business; maybe courting the girl who chose another guy. Ouch! Whatever, there are never any assurances. But on the other hand, so many others turn out the way you had hoped, even better.
Recently, I was meeting with Rafy Gutierrez, Director of Padre de Corazon. He shared a powerful scriptural insight he received in Matthew. “When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away” (vss. 27.57-60 ESV).
Three things Rafy shared and are so profound. Joseph was a follower of Jesus.
It says that 1) he asked and received Jesus’ body, 2) he used his own new tomb to bury Jesus and 3) he left. What do you see here? A servant of Christ took a risk, he gave his best and he left and trusted God to do the rest. How many times do we do 1 and 2, but stick around to make sure what I intended does get done. No, Joseph gave his very best and left the results in God’s hands.
Let’s review the results of his obedience. Three days later, the most significant event happened for all time. God raised his Son from Joseph’s new tomb and gave Jesus new life—eternal, everlasting life. Dads, are we like Joseph in our parenting? First, are we giving our very best to our marriage and children? Then, are we able to trust God with the results? A scripture jumps out at me. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22.6 ESV). Do you see the parallel with Joseph? What if your discipleship of your family led to this kind of powerful result in their lives and the kingdom of God? “With God, all things are possible.” We plant, we water, but God gives the increase.
So, take a look at your role as husband, father, maybe even grandfather, and examine it. Am I giving it my all, my very best? What do I need to do differently? What is more important than making disciples for the gospel of Jesus Christ? It starts with your family. You are the caretaker, the spiritual leader. Do what it takes to ensure that they are in the position to be resurrected with Christ. The words—“Well Done” will resonate for eternity. Give it your best..then let go and let God!