Stay in the Game
It’s easy to have a good attitude and pursue your dreams as long as everything is going your way. That doesn’t take a lot of faith. But what about the difficult time when a relationship doesn’t work out, you get a bad health report, or a friend does you wrong?
It’s easy to lose your passion when you are hurting. Many people are sitting on the sidelines of life because they’re injured. They are nursing their wounds, and not moving forward because of what they’ve been through.
You may have a reason to feel sorry for yourself, but you don’t have a right. God promised to give you beauty for those ashes. He said He would pay you back double for the wrongs, but you have to do your part. If you are to see the beauty, if you’re to get double, you have to shake off your self-pity.
Shake off the discouragement and get back in the game. We all have wounds, but you can’t let a loss, a health issue, or a divorce be your excuse to sit on the sidelines. Sometimes in life you have to play in pain.
Last football season, this thought struck me while I was watching a football game in which one of the best players had a broken hand and bruised ribs. He was a big offensive lineman. He wasn’t expected to play. The trainers wanted him to sit out, but he wasn’t about to miss the game. He had a big cast on his arm and he was wearing a special vest to protect his ribs. He was so bandaged up he looked like a mummy.
A reporter asked him how he felt: “It’s a little painful, but I’d rather be in the game in pain than sitting on the sidelines watching.”
If you are to become all God created you to be, you can’t let an injury, hurt, or disappointment cause you to sit on the sidelines, either. Be like that bandaged-up lineman. Bandage what’s hurting. Forgive the person who did you wrong. Let go of what didn’t work out and get back in the game. That’s the kind of people God rewards. Faithful people. People who are determined. People who get knocked down, but don’t stay down. Instead they get back up again. You can’t let the hurt, the pain, or the bad break cause you to be bitter, or to lose your passion, or to start blaming God.
No matter what life deals your way, your attitude should be: “I’m hurting but I’m still here. A friend did me wrong but I’m still here. Business is slow but I’m still here. I didn’t feel like coming but I’m still here.”
You need to make up your mind to stay in the game. You can’t just be faithful only as long as you feel perfectly well, as long as everybody treats you right, or as long as it’s sunny and cool outside. You have to be like Job with a made-up mind.
“I’m hurting, but I’m still coming.”
“My boss did me wrong, but I’m still getting to work on time, being my best.”
“My child won’t speak to me. It’s breaking my heart. I’m in pain but I’m still singing in the choir. I’m still ushering each week. I’m still being good to a friend in need. I’ve still got a smile. I’m still giving God praise.”
Anybody can sit on the sidelines. Anybody can find an excuse to be sour, to drop out, or to give up on life. I’m asking you to stay in the game. When you’re hurting and pain, it’s easy to become fixated on your hurt, your disappointments, or your bad breaks. All that will do is bring more discouragement, more self-pity, eventually even depression.
One of the best things you can do when you’re hurting is go out and help somebody else who is hurting. Get your mind off your problems and pain by helping somebody else in need. When you help others in your time of need, you are sowing a seed God can use to change your situation.