Monday, July 28, 2014

The Best Player (Joe WIdick)

Tonight's article is again penned by my dear friend, Joe Widick. Joe taught with me at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, Tennessee and later became the high school administrator. I was blessed to teach his three children and even teach with one, Lane, here at WCS. Joe is married to the lovely Elaine and serves full time as an elder and minister with the Maple Hill Church of Christ. Continued prayers for me, please, in Vietnam!

As parents and grandparents we are probably all alike when it comes to watching our child or grandchild participate in some sporting event, band concert, choral performance or any other event that involves others.  We keep our eyes focused on the one that is most important to us.  They may or may not be the best player or performer but in our eyes they will always be the very best.  You have probably watched a sporting event on television and noticed how someone will score a touchdown or hit an impossible shot in a basketball game.  What do the cameras do, they many times will focus on how excited the mother / father of the athlete is.  Their child is by far the best player in the game.  Years ago our youngest son and daughter were in their high school chorus.  Each spring we would travel to various congregations to see them perform.  You know exactly who we focused on at each performance.  Regardless of how the performance went, we always tried to encourage them by telling them much we enjoyed the performance and that we would not have missed it for anything.  Why did we do this?  The answer is very obvious and simple—we loved them.  

I trust that each who spend a few moments reading this column realize how much God loves you.  We can quote John 3:16 and feel comfortable knowing of his great love.  Have you ever tried to get just a tiny glimpse of what God’s love means to us.  God loves each of His children many times more than we can love our own children.  And just like a father at a basketball game, God keeps His eye on us at all times.  I don’t look at His keeping an eye on us as means of His checking up on us.  I see it as observing, loving and encouraging us in life’s struggles.  It is a realization that He is there and that He cares.  We can draw comfort in knowing “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer…”  (I Peter 3:12).  With that in mind, I need to keep my eyes on the Lord also, because He is not going to take His eyes off of me.  When life seems to be frightening, when the opposition seems to be overwhelming, when it appears that you are losing, we can all remember that God is watching.  As he watches He in his loving compassion wants to help each of us.  Help us to keep our eyes focused on the prize.  He wants to encourage us to be able to finish the course successfully.  He wants us to lay aside each weight of sin that so easily keeps us from being all that we can be.  That is the encouragement that is needed daily as we journey through life.  I hope that each of us are truly thankful for all that God does for us, but especially for the fact that he watches us daily.  Not only is God watching us, we also learn from the Hebrew writer that there is a great cloud of witnesses that surround us and that they are there to encourage us to greater heights.   

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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