We must play hurt sometimes
It really is strange when at least one of our area high school football teams is not playing a game on a fall Friday night. However, open dates, as coaches say, really give time for some injured players to recover and for others to rest up and be replenished from a long season.
The problem with our lives is that we get no open dates. And just like many ballplayers we have to continue to play hurt. That's part of the quest for victory.
Every one of us has experienced hurtful times in our lives. Sometimes they come from disappointing choices by a son or daughter. Other times they come from unfair or harmful words. Someone has said that even in churches our favorite colors are "black and blue." Still others may come from the storms of nature that turn our worlds upside down.
In a football game, we watch in horror as a player is carted off the field. Then we all cheer to see him return. He comes back in and plays hurt. In reality we face the same choice after we are bruised or harmed. We can stay away from the game. We can quit the game. Or we can courageously play hurt.
God's word encourages us to gird up our loins (suck it up) and play in spite of the hurt.
Jesus Christ was a good model to us all. He endured rejection, ridicule, loneliness, false accusations, criticism and more. He endured the torment of the cross; the bleeding and the excruciating pain.
Yet, he played hurt.
He demonstrated love, forgiveness and understanding. He stayed the course. He moved on. He faced the opposition for the greater cause of eternal success for others.
Many of you have inspired many of us by facing the storm and playing hurt. You didn't quit. You didn't run and hide. You didn't change communities. You endured.
May God help us to see that it is always too soon to quit and that with Jesus Christ the pain is only temporary.