Our verse for today comes from John 7:14, ” Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. “
I have played on many sports teams through the years. Some good ones, and a whole lot of bad ones. And being on the short end of the stick usually meant that my team was losing at halftime. So many times my teammates and I headed into our locker room, or huddled around our coach at intermission, facing a deficit on the scoreboard. Odds are that more times than not, we came up short in the end. Now, I do remember a few dramatic finishes. There were some last-second, game-winning shots along the way. But what I don’t remember are any awe-inspiring, super motivational halftime speeches from my coaches. But if you’re familiar with Notre Dame, Knute Rockne, George Gipp, or the movies Knute Rockne – All American or Rudy , then you probably have some sense of what a powerful, motivational pep talk sounds like. On one occasion, as told on the big screen in All American, Head Coach Rockne inspired his battered team to victory in 1928 against the undefeated cadets from Army by telling them of the last words of the dying Notre Dame football hero, George Gipp. On another occasion, recreated by actor Sean Astin in Rudy, Rockne emboldens his team to ” Go, go, go, go, go, go, ” and not to stop until they get across that goal line.
Half times can play a big role in the performance of a team in the second half. Whatever comeback might occur is often the result of some instruction, correction, and inspiration received during the break. In my walk with the Lord, there have been innumerable times when I have needed encouragement, reassurance and direction, and all of that very recently. And I know you have been there, too. There’s too much to life to not be affected by it all. But Jesus is the original inspirer. He doesn’t just give motivation and encouragement. He gives the actual strength and inclination. He provides the ability and the will. He empowers and instills. So go to Him with that awful first half, and let Him make your second half one of triumph and rejoicing, victory and celebration.
As we seek Him today, take your desperation and discontentment to Jesus, and ask Him to do for you what He died for you to do.