I remember when my daughter played on a basketball team for the first time. I loved going to her games, though I had to tread carefully whenever I did. Not wanting to be embarrassed by an overly enthusiastic mother, Luci thought it would be best if I just sat quietly while watching the game. I did my best to behave, though every so often I couldn’t keep myself from poking one of the mothers sitting beside me, asking her to cheer Luci on since I wasn’t allowed to.
Over the course of the season, a couple of the girls struggled with their shooting. In the last couple of games, the coach did everything he could to make sure they had a chance to get the ball. During the final minute of the last game, something magical happened. That’s when one of the girls experienced her Rocky Balboa moment. She was surrounded by a swarm of defenders, when suddenly, above the crowd of gangly girls, the ball arced up, rising high and then swishing straight into the hoop. That shot, her first successful one of the year, clinched the game! If she hadn’t kept playing, hadn’t kept trying, she never would have experienced the thrill of achieving that unforgettable shot.
It’s the same with us. We may not think of ourselves as giants of the faith, as people who can stand strong in difficult times. Perhaps we have already given in to doubt on more than one occasion. But God says don’t give up. Stay in the game. Keep believing, keep hoping, keep trying. Persevere and watch what God will do with your life.