Happy Monday! I'm posting at Exemplify Online today. You can read the rest of my devotion there.
She’s 17 years old, blonde and adorable. But beneath her girl-next-door exterior lives a determined fighter who wields her weapon with finesse and power. In a manner reminiscent of David and Goliath this virtual unknown slayed giant after giant during the last two weeks.
Her name? Melanie Oudin. Her weapon? A Wilson K Blade Tour racket. The arena? Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, NY. If you haven’t heard of her…you will.
This fresh-faced young American said her goal during the summer was to play well enough to rank in the top 100 so she wouldn’t have to qualify as a wild card for the US Open. By tournament time she ranked 67. Yet even with that impressive accomplishment, it still left her a loooong way from the rarefied air of the seeded players. A peon in the locker room.
By the second match it seemed Melanie’s US Open dreams were about to end as she faced the fourth seeded player. Just like King Saul said to puny David, logic/statistics/experience/common sense told Melanie, “You are not able to go out against these top players and fight them; you are only a girl, and they have been winning majors from their youth.” (ref.1 Samuel 17:33)
But you know what? She didn’t listen to any of that. And she won. And then she won again and again and again. Four top-seeded players dismantled and sent home.
How did she do it? Training and hard work to be sure, but tennis is too mental a game for that to be enough. Instead she lived the motto on her signature yellow and pink sneakers: Believe. “For me, it’s all about that. It’s believing that I can beat these girls and hang there with them,” she said. “If I didn’t have that, then there's no way I would have been able to win (here).”
So often in our Christian journey, we feel like David in a sea of Goliaths. We look around and feel we don’t measure up. Our giants have more experience, more power, more eloquence and more Bible knowledge. They pray better, sing better, lead better and write better.
We may feel a divine nudge or hear a small voice, but we allow logic, experience or common sense to tell us we can’t—or shouldn’t.
The apostle Paul coaches the Ephesians against such a mindset, “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…” (1:19-20a NLT, emphasis mine)
You and I may never play in a professional sports tournament, incite a media frenzy or become a household name, but we can rise to the extraordinary. The key to our success lies not in our own hard work, expert training or fine pedigree, but in our belief of the very One who raised Jesus from the grave. Paul says this incomparable power is available for all who believe God at His word. Imagine that?! This concept is so foreign to our nature it’s tough to grasp, but when we do, we can be assured victories beyond our wildest dreams—with consequences that far outlast any silver trophy.
We can also be assured that when God calls us to the playing field, He will equip us with what all we need. In my case, I hope that includes a cute pair of yellow and pink tennis sneakers.