And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Have you ever seen the movie “Overcomer” by the Kendrick brothers? It is the inspirational, heartwarming story of a basketball coach, John, who is forced into coaching the one sport he doesn’t even consider a real sport - cross country.
As the story begins, John’s basketball team loses one of their games against a formidable team. He promises his team that the following year they would see a turnaround and be victorious. Little does he know that their world as they know it is about to turn upside down. One of the town’s manufacturing plants is forced to close down and many workers move elsewhere to find work. Unfortunately, a number of these workers have sons on the basketball team, some key players in fact. Suddenly, John finds himself being a basketball coach without a team.
His principal, Olivia, suggests that he coach cross country. He is reluctant to do so especially since he is not strong in the sport himself. He finally agrees and when he goes to tryouts, meets one girl willing to be on the team - Hannah Scott. Not only is it daunting that one person in the entire school is willing to try out for the sport, but she has a challenge - she has asthma. He tries to get out of coaching her but the principal is adamant, stating that she is cleared by her doctor and she actually is a runner. All she has to do is ensure that she has her inhaler with her at all times.
As I paint the beginnings of this story, it seems filled with negatives. It doesn’t seem as if anything could possibly go right. This coach could not seem to catch a break. Sometimes, as we know, that’s how life feels. It seems as if one negative thing after the next comes our way and we can’t even get the opportunity to breathe. In fact, the challenges and the speed with which they are coming at us, seem designed to knock us completely off our feet. We barely get back up and another problem comes our way.
However, one thing catches my attention. At the end of their losing game, John tries to encourage his team telling them that next season they would take everything. Even though they had lost, they still had a chance - once they were together. That was John’s plan. Proverbs 19:21 comes to my mind: "Many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” There isn’t anything wrong with making plans, mind you, but we need to also make room for the possibility that things may not go exactly the way we have planned. In fact, with God as our guide, things will go even better.
Everything seemed so negative at first, but God was shifting and moving things and people around getting ready to do some great things in the lives of this coach and his family and Hannah. Sometimes it’s just about trusting God. Once you are His child, you can be encouraged that He is ordering your steps. He is not unconcerned about your plans, He is just more desirous to do what is best for us, even though we can’t see it at first.
When we look at Joseph’s life, Joseph seemed to be facing one negative thing after the next. After having a dream that his family would bow down to him, he was sold to merchants by his brothers, accused of rape by his Egyptian employer’s wife, cast into prison, when faced with the opportunity to be released from prison, missed that opportunity because he was forgotten and had to spend a few more years in prison until finally released (Genesis 37, 39-41). I would imagine Joseph felt discouraged and disheartened time and again yet, he never gave up on his God. It turns out that like John in our story above, God was shifting things around, even moving people out of the way, so that the dream that he had received from God could become a reality.
God wanted to do something great in John’s life as well. He did, but He had to do it outside of his comfort zone. It’s about trusting God to do what is best even it means being uncomfortable for a while. Sometimes we can’t even see the road ahead and it’s difficult to anticipate what may come our way. But, we can be confident that God is able to see when we can’t and He is the One who will guide us into His purpose and plan for our lives.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so now. God knows how to orchestrate the perfect plan for your life. He doesn’t want to give you anything less than His best for you. Trust Him to guide every step until you fulfil His perfect purpose for you.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.