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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
"Seventeen Years of Marriage and a Football Game"
As you may know, my parents and staff conspired to send my wife and me to Denver for our 17th wedding anniversary. Dad and Mom supplied airline miles to get the plane tickets and the staff pitched in to get the football tickets, and my wife and I did our part to survive the cold--it was between 9 and 11 degrees with wind chill to -3. We bundled up from head to toe, and stocked up on hand and foot warmers (those things work!) and tried our best to apply the Ecclesiastes 4:11 principle (that works, too!). The National Anthem, the flyover, the roar of 76,900 voices, and my childhood football team on the field all made for an exciting time. The game itself was a blast. It being the coldest NFL game this year, the 4th longest game in NFL history, and record kickoff returns by Denver's Trindon Holliday made it most memorable. As I reflect on the game and our marriage of seventeen years, some important things stand out.
Prepare for Adversity.
Both teams on the field, and every fan in the stands had to face the same conditions. It was cold and windy, and opposition stood in everyone's way. My wife and I were cold, to say the least, but we were prepared. We had proper clothes and gloves, hats and boots, and we managed to last the whole game, even into double overtime. Don't ever think that you won't face adversity in life. You will. Prepare for it now, and you will come through it. Proverbs 24:10, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.”
2. There are Highs and Lows.
During the game, we saw Payton Manning throw a great touchdown to the corner of the end zone we were sitting behind. Holliday took the first punt of the game back for a touchdown right in front of us. The crowd went crazy with excitement! However, we also saw Manning throw an interception that went for a touchdown in the end zone we were sitting behind. Major highs and major lows can occur in a matter of minutes. Life works the same way. There will be highs and lows in life and how you respond to them will determine the outcome. II Corinthians 4:8, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.”Proverbs 29:23, “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
3. “It ain't over ‘til it’s over!”
The Broncos were 9-point favorites, and with home field advantage they should have won that game. They had the ball and a 7-point lead with under two minutes to play. I figured we could start heading to the exit, and get out of the crowd to go get warm. Well, it ain't over ‘til it’s over! The Ravens got the ball back and scored with 34 seconds left in the game. You may be on top right now, and feel as though things are going your way, or you may be on the bottom and feel as if you are never going to survive. Keep playing! Stay by the stuff! It ain't over ‘til it’s over! Don't quit on your family! Don't quit on your church! Don't quit on God! Keep pressing on the upward way, and don't let up until Jesus comes! Hebrews 3:14, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”
My wife and I have enjoyed seventeen years together. Life is filled with adversity, but we have been preparing to face it the Bible way. There have been highs and lows in these years, but we have responded Biblically to them and made it through. We both realize it isn’t over yet. We still must keep trying and working to love each other more, and have a better marriage. We can't afford to get complacent. Let’s all be STEADFAST unto the end! Hebrews 6:11, “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.”