Are you ready for some good news?
If you suddenly find yourself in a greater challenge than you originally expected, take heart – you might be surprised but God isn’t. His grace is always there in “overtime.”
Some years ago, when our son was a student at Baylor University, the men’s basketball team was up by three points with seconds left in the game. It was an important conference matchup. I was glued to the TV. The opponent’s three-point attempt ricocheted off the rim, out of bounds to Baylor. With less than two seconds left, the only way the Bears could lose was to throw the ball inbounds and have it stolen. Then, with less than two seconds left, the opponent would have to get off a three-point attempt and make it.
Impossible, right? The game was as good as over. The players were thinking about the celebratory trip back to Waco.
Believe it or not, the nearly impossible happened. Baylor fumbled the inbounds pass. The opponent grabbed the ball and heaved up a three-point swish. The buzzer sounded. Overtime.
Sometimes life is like that, isn’t it? You think you have arrived. As I write, we are headed into the twelfth week of our church doors being closed on Sunday mornings. Initially, I thought it was going to be two weeks of sheltering in place. We all know the dreaded “overtime” feeling. You thought the relationship was healed only to find out that another difficult conversation is needed. You land the big sales account only to find out that a competitor is trying to steal it. Your child is finally grown, and you find out her marriage is in trouble.
It’s what happened to David. He’d been anointed as a youth, promised the throne,
persecuted for years by King Saul and finally, the time had come to take the throne. But the Lord said to take the throne in Hebron not in Jerusalem. David would be king over Judah but not yet over all of Israel: “And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months” (2 Samuel 2:11, ESV).
David thought he had arrived, only to find out that he had seven and a half more years to wait for his full reign.
If you find yourself in “overtime,” don’t despair. David eventually took the throne in Jerusalem. Eventually, the pandemic will be in the rearview mirror. Eventually, you’ll take hold of every one of God’s promises. If you haven’t reached the goal yet, you haven’t lost. Take a long, deep breath. You’re just in overtime. God’s promises don’t fall to the ground. It might take longer than you think, but don’t despair. You’re going to win it in overtime. And that’s the Gospel!