The college football season is almost over, and once again many fans all across the nation have already given up on their team for this season. They have witnessed all the loses they can take and have moved on to something besides college football. Honestly, I’m about to that point myself. Watching our team struggle week in and week out is beyond frustrating for the fan base. I have listened to a number of fans call in to the local sports talk show and vent time and time again. I have heard more than one caller state their intention to throw in the towel and hope next year is better.
One day as I was driving home from the office listening to another fan’s extreme anger, I began to think about how many people are willing to give up on a team, friend, or family member. Many times we give up on others because we can’t watch them struggle and make one bad decision after another. Eventually, we throw in the towel and give up on that person or group of people. If you have not done this yourself, you probably know someone who has. It’s prevalent in our society today.
As I began thinking about this, it hit me; God is the exact opposite of us when it comes to giving up on people. We are the kind of people who eventually give up on those who struggle and make mistakes. We get frustrated or angry and simply quit. God is the kind of God who never gives up on those who struggle and make mistakes. He remains steadfast and true to them. Take Peter for instance: how many times did Peter struggle and mess up? Well, you had the time he rebuked Jesus openly, the time he took his eyes off Jesus, the time he denied Jesus in the presence of His enemies, the time…I think you get the point. Peter was the kind of person who you and I probably would give up on over time. Eventually, we would get to the point where we think Peter is hopeless, kind of the way I feel about my favorite football team this season. However, God is not that way. God never throws in the towel on His children.
Peter was the apostle chosen to stand at the forefront on the Day of Pentecost and preach to the people (Acts 2). Peter was the apostle chosen to deal with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). Peter was the apostle chosen to carry the gospel message to the Gentile nation (Acts 10). Peter was one of only three apostles chosen by Jesus to go with Him into the inner part of the garden while He prayed (Matt. 26). In spite of all his blunders and mistakes, God never once gave up on Peter or said, “Maybe he will be better next year.” God continually supported Peter and waited on him to turn things around.
Perhaps, instead of throwing in the towel on my favorite team at this point, what my team really needs is a fan that isn’t going to throw in the towel. Maybe, just maybe, what they need is a fan who is there to support them even in the midst of such struggles, waiting for them to turn the corner onto something better. If this college football season has taught me anything, it has taught me the need to learn patience for the struggles and failures of myself and others.
Peter said, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). Peter would have understood God’s patience toward mankind perhaps better than anyone! I’m thankful we serve a God who never throws in the towel on His children, no matter how much we struggle or mess up.
Now that’s Something to Think About!