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Then I will shout all day, “Praise the LORD God! He did what was right.” Psalm 35:28 (CEV)

Three seconds left in the second overtime of the state championship game. The moment all of us athletes (armchair and otherwise) dream of. He’d probably pretended to make this shot a million times in his backyard. The only difference then was that this time three seconds was really three seconds and there would be no second chance.

The ball was thrown in; he dribbled to half court and let it fly. As it flew through mid-air the final buzzer sounded. By the time the ball slipped softly through the net, the game was officially over. The only difference and it was a major difference, was that when the ball left his hand his team was down by two points. Now, they were the champions.

The crowd roared. On the one side? A ‘roar’ of anguish and disbelief. On the other side? A roar of amazement and celebration.

There are so many analogies we can make to the athletic field and life. Even the Apostle Paul makes athletically based references to this journey, this race we call life. All run, few are rewarded the champions crown. All serious athletes train diligently. None enter the contest hoping to come in second. Yet only one is left standing.

Before the ball hit that gymnasium floor that day, the ‘hero’s teammates surrounded him. His name is still in the record books these 20 years later, but relatively few remember the joy of those fleeting moments. And only those of us who experienced it really understand the euphoria.

When David reflected back his life he saw the ruins of broken relationships, the scars of battles lost and the oasis’ of encouragement from his followers. But one thing reigned supreme. His God had not failed him. Ever.

David had failed. Miserably sometimes. Others had turned their backs on him and thrown him under the bus. But God had always remained faithful. It was God who walked him through the dark, lion infested fields as he tended sheep. It was God who directed the stone that day as he faced the giant. It was God who protected him from the angry outbursts of a jealous King Saul.

Our journey on earth if full of various types of battles. Some we win, some we lose. But when those battles are done there is cause for rejoicing. Even in the darkest part of the night when the storms rage we can praise Him because we know he will bring us through and we’ll be stronger because of it.

Make every day a day of praise. Celebrate the fact that good or bad, even if you don’t see the good right now, your Heavenly Father always does right.

PRAYER: Father, it’s easy to celebrate the victories of our lives, but remind us to praise you in the midst of the darkness as well because we know you always do right. Amen.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Have you ever meditated on what it means to have the Creator God, the almighty, all knowing, ever present God in relationship with you? He’s not watching us from heaven on high like we often think of. He’s walking with us! He’s sitting in our car with us during rush hour traffic. He’s holding our hand in the doctor’s office when the test reports come in. He’s got his arm around you when the news comes that a loved one has joined him for the eternal portion of their lives.

You know that feeling of elation you have when the boss tells you that you have a promotion coming…and a raise? Well, he feels it too and he smiles with pride. Just like he does when he’s sitting with you at the basketball game watching your son/daughter score the winning basket! And he cheers too!

When your little one lays sick with fever he has one hand on their tiny little body, and the other on your shoulder. I think he may even have tear on his cheek. Not because he’s worried about the baby, but because he feels your pain of worry and the pain of the little one.

During those times when the challenges of life seem too much to bear and you feel like you are bearing them all alone, he’s there. You may not sense his presence. Especially during those times of weakness when you give into temptation. You may not sense him during those times of disappointment with a spouse, a child or your parents. But God’s presence with you isn’t determined by your awareness of him. He’s always by your side. Watching your back, guiding your future. Comforting your present.

The next time you are attacked by the enemy named worry, worship instead. Worship isn’t reserved for Sunday. Worship isn’t reserved for any particular place or time. Worship is daily walking with the assurance that the one walking with you and loving you is God. That’s grace. That’s relationship. That’s God for you.

PRAYER: Father God, I praise and worship you for your promise to always be by my side. Forgive me for the times I forget that you not only watch over me but you walk with me, side by side and hand in hand. Today I ask that in every circumstance we go through together I will be aware of your presence by my side. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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