As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
– Exodus 17:11-12, NIV
DM (2003) in the middle
It was my junior year.
Two win-less seasons had preceded that particular season. Twenty games. Hundreds of hours practicing, preparing, lifting weights, and running. All to play hard and come away without a single win.
To say I invested blood, sweat, and tears in trying to help my football team succeed would not be hyperbole.
I was deeply invested. I cared.
So, that Saturday–the day the picture above was taken–I was hopeful. We were playing a team that we had matched up with well in the past. We had been competitive with them at least.
I dared to hope that we had a chance.
Sixty minutes later…I slumped on the bench before my locker all soggy and dirty from the weather and my exertion. We had just suffered one of our worse schellackings as a team. I was crushed.
This was defeat number 25.
Think on that:
Twenty. Five. Weeks of preparation for each game only for them to end in hope-crushing defeat.
I had yet to experience a win as a college athlete.
It was hard on my spirits. I had known a good friend who decided he could not take that weekly disappointment and emotional pounding having stopped playing after going through my first win less season at college (nearly his second).
I will never forget what happened next in that locker room–now, over a decade ago.
My friend, Bear, reached over and gave me a hug.
He looked straight into my tear-filled, despairing eyes, and I heard him tell me:
“David, there’s wins in this team.”
We would loose two more games after that especially demoralizing one.
But my friend’s words came true:
We won the last three games of my junior season ending the twenty-seven game win-less drought.
Why do I tell you this story?
I sense God is telling me to share this story to you.
I sense some of you are sitting in your own proverbial locker-room beaten down after loosing your own twenty-fifth game. Soggy, bloodied, and despairing. Wondering if it is worth suiting up again and engaging in the battle and preparation to get in “the game” again.
I sense someone needs to hear the words my friend spoke to me:
“There are some “wins” in there for you.”
The “season” is not over. There is still hope.
I am cheering you on and holding your arms up as Hur and Aaron did Moses so long ago. Sometimes we need someone to remind us that what we see right now in the darkest of defeats is just a moment.
Wins are around the corner if we choose not to give into despair.
I know this for certain because we hope in our Lord Jesus. And God’s word promises us that this hope will not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
Never give up!
Victory is coming for those who trust in the Lord!