Holding On To Hope

On Saturday, Marcus Lattimore of the South Carolina Gamecockstook a handoff and made a decent little two yard gain. Then it all went horribly wrong.

As he was being tackled, another player came in low and hit Lattimore. Suddenly, his leg didn’t look right. If flopped around sickeningly and hit the turf at an odd angle. Anybody watching the game or the thousands of replays knew immediately that this was going to be bad. Lattimore’s season was over. It was entirely possible that his football career was over. Knees don’t bend like that unless something really bad has happened. His dream had come to an end.

Or has it?

I know a little bit about knee injuries. I blew up my right knee and had to have it reconstructed when I was a freshman in high school. I have Teflon instead of cartilage in my knee, and I never played another down of football. It was devastating. I even tried my best to play at Central Union High School when I moved to Imperial Valley after my freshman year. I kept trying to convince Steve Evangelist that my paperwork was coming from Los Angeles. It wasn’t, and Coach Evangelist told me to go home and come back when I had the proper clearance. I never went back. My hope of every playing football again was over.

Lattimore is holding out hope that he will be able to play next year. He had to have his left knee reconstructed last year and missed most of the year.

What do you do when your dream dies? How do you handle it when what you think is going to happen doesn’t happen? If you’re Marcus Lattimore, you have surgery and get to work rehabbing that knee. You keep hope that you will be back, and you hold onto that hope for as long as you can.

Hope is an amazing commodity. It can help you go on when everything says you should give up. Hope can give you the strength to go on when it would be easier to give up.

In Romans 5:13, Paul says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I love that verse because it says so much about why I serve God.

First of all, God is the God of hope. When I feel like giving up, God gives me hope because I know that he is in control.

Secondly, God will fill me with joy and peace as I put my trust in him. And once I fully trust him, I will overflow with hope!

I honestly don’t see how people live their daily lives without knowing God. Most people know God like I know Abraham Lincoln. I know about ole Honest Abe, I have read his history, and I have seen his picture. But I don’t really KNOW him, I just know about him, and I certainly don’t put my trust in him.

On the other hand, I have experienced the goodness of God. I have put my hope and trust in him, and have seen him do amazing things in me and in others.

Maybe you’ve had a letdown like Marcus Lattimore. You have been going through each day just surviving. You don’t have any hope that it will get better, you’re just going through the motions. Try putting your hope in Christ and see what he can do if you will just let him. Trust me, a life that overflows with hope is a pretty good life to live.

Praying for Marcus… Jerry


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