Keep Going

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)

I was playing chess with my nine year old son recently and soon into the game it appeared as though I might easily win the game, having taken more of his men than he had taken of mine. That made him feel discouraged and, as he pushed over his king, he said to me, “Dad, it’s okay. I give it (the game) to you.” I said, “No, you just can’t quit like that. You have to keep playing! You never know what will happen. You could win the game in the end!” Then I added, “You know, in life, you can’t go back and do it over. You have to keep on going.”

Well, I’m glad to say that my son decided to keep on playing that game, especially after I added one more incentive. “Well, this is the only game I’m playing tonight, and if you don’t want to play this game, well, it’s time for bed!” With that, my son braced himself for a challenge, and put his “all” into playing the game. Now, I must warn you that, if you ever decide to play chess with my son, that he is quite good at it, so don’t be fooled by his age. As it turned out — since he has beaten me many times before — even with the advantage I appeared to have, I decided that I wasn’t going to make one (intentionally) wrong move! I was going to put my “all” into it. And put my “all” I did. But even at that … you guessed it … my son won the game!

We all fall into the temptation of judging the end by the start. But, as happened with the chess game, appearances are not always what they seem. It appeared as though my son was going to lose. But he actually won. Perhaps it is good to be reminded of people like Samson. He made some silly mistakes in his life. But the Bible credits him as being a man of great faith, being mentioned in the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith”. Or think of Rahab, who was originally a prostitute. She also made mistakes early on. But she is mentioned as one who is blessed on account of her faith, for she turned from her former ways and became a servant of God. Or, how about John Mark? He was originally rejected by Paul, but was later on received by him. Or how about Peter, who denied Christ three times? Jesus gladly restored him after he fell, knowing that he was truly repentant.

As it says in the Proverbs, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.” (Proverbs 24:16a). And, as Paul said, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Philippians 3:13-15)

May the Lord bless you today as you consider these words.