Thursday, January 16, 2014

Our GOD will not Forsake us

Regardless of how small the matter.....HE is there

Yesterday was a very frustrating day as I struggled with people who were making a mountain out of a mole hill. Does that ever happen to you? In this story, I have a young man who just joined my U12 soccer team. For the sake of this story, I will call him Danny. He is a great kid. But, he has an Anxiety Disorder. His diagnosis is tricky. It seems to rear it’s ugly head when he steps into a new environment, like joining a new soccer team. I have coached Danny off and on since he was about 7 years old. Today he is 12 years old and for the most part, he is doing well. But, coming out for our soccer team created great fear and anxiety for him, even though he really wanted to come play. So much so, that he was unable to get out of his parents car on a couple of nights just to play soccer. 
But, Danny is fighting his way through it and he was accepted by the club to be on the team. Until Tuesday came. On Tuesday, I received an email from the Club Treasurer who was getting players cards made that stated Danny’s birthday fell outside of the required dates and that he was too old to be on the team. My heart sank like I had been punched in the gut. It was an awful feeling. This young man was trying so hard to face his fears and somehow I had overlooked a detail that was going to keep him from playing. I felt just awful. I didn’t know what I was going to do. 
So, I took it upon myself to contact the State Soccer Association to ask if they would be willing to make an exception and allow him to play this one Spring Season despite his age. After all, Danny was a good ball player, but not a ringer. Not the kind of kid who looked or played above the age group of our team. 

Well, that’s when the trouble started. Doesn’t it almost always seem to happen this way? It’s like the old saying, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.” I was simply trying to do a good deed. That’s all, nothing more. But, unbeknownst to me, the Club that I had just agreed to work with as a brand new coach had an unpublished rule that a Coach is NEVER to contact the State Soccer Association directly. And the hubbub began. First the Head Director of Coaching sent me two nasty grams via text message with several words in all CAPS(that’s yelling in text talk).  Then, a few hours later the VP of Soccer calls me and despite being nice about; he lets me know I was not supposed to call the State directly. Now, keep in mind, no one at this club told me anything. They have no manual, no training class, no orientation…..nothing formal. Then, this morning(the next day), the Director over the age group of my team calls me and gives me a little bit of the business. Then tonight, yet another VP from the club sends me some CAPITAL LETTERS in another email. All the while, I know these men are good guys that also care about the kids. But, WOW! One phone call to try to do a good deed and the world caught on fire! 

So, I jump in my car last night in the Midst of this Chaos(see how I worked that in, cool huh?) and pop on the radio. I’m all pent up with frustration and still wondering if there is any help coming to little Danny. And I hear the soft voice of Laura Story streaming from my speakers…….

Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it 
takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

Tears welled up in my eyes as I heard HIM speaking directly to me through her words. 

What if my greatest disappointment or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise 

This may seem like such a small matter. One that doesn’t merit much heartache or rise to the level of chaos. But, my daughter, who is now a U14 soccer player, also suffers with an Anxiety Disorder. I had seen her suffer just the way Danny was suffering. I had learned to work with her and seen how therapeutic playing soccer had been for her. I had even told Danny’s mom and dad that I believed God had put Danny exactly where he needed to be. And, I felt honored to serve HIM in Danny’s life. To me, it had become a big deal. I was more than sympathetic, I was truly empathetic toward Danny and his parents. And I could see God’s hand. 
But, God is so good and so awesome. He rarely speaks to us in just one voice or one witness. So, as only HE can do, he played another song for me. The very next song that flowed through the airways to my heart was Matthew West’s “The Motions”…………

I don’t want to go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day 
Without your all consuming passion inside of me

I don’t want to spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything
Instead of going through the motions? 

Take me all the way

I had literally said to my wife in the midst of the calls, emails and texts from people at the club, “the next 100 coaches would probably have done nothing. But, I just can’t let that go. I have to do whatever I can. I have to at least try.” I got emotional just talking to her about him. I was all in. 

In our lives as Christians, it should never be hard to do the right thing. It should always be hard to do the wrong thing. Because there is no good in me, but for Christ within me. And if I let HIM take me all the way, and I truly am not just going through the motions, then I simply cannot do what is wrong. 

1 John 3:9, “No one who is born of GOD, practices sin, because HIS 
seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of GOD.” 

If Christ is in you and you surrender all, you don’t even have to think about doing what is right. Your heart has been bent to HIS Will and you will do that Will just as Christ would. You would love Danny like Jesus would love him, like he was your own. And, you would do whatever was in your power to help him. There would be no hesitation, no trepidation and no fear. 

2 Corinthians 13:1 (KJ21)
13 This is the third time I am coming to you. “In the mouth of two or 
three witnesses shall every word be established.”

    Then this morning………the Third Witness appeared. God is so good, so loving, so omnipotent, so resolute. I log into my email and I have been tagged in a Facebook post by a friend who lost her child while still pregnant at 37 weeks on this day, 8 years ago. Truly a moment of Chaos that needed some Comfort. Her message began with, 

It is well with my soul. The song we sang wholeheartedly at Fitz’s 
funeral 8 years ago….the experience was one that strengthened our 
faith and relationships and showed us the truth in “I will never leave or 
forsake you.” 

He was there in her time of great need for comfort from great chaos. And, he was there for me last night in what most would see as a small matter, by comparison. 
We must understand that our GOD is not just the Lord over large things, but of ALL things great and small. He sees even the sparrow fall. He is always with us and always there to comfort us. When we are in the midst of chaos no matter how small, he is still there. And he will show us HIS presence in the mouths of 2 or 3 witness as often as we have hears to hear. 

PRAY:  Lord, thank You that no trials are too big or too small for us to call on You.  What comfort to know that You will NEVER forsake us.

~ Brad Nolan

(The name of the child was changed to Danny to protect his identity.)

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