It’s an exciting time to live in Kansas City. The Royals, affectionately known by the locals as “the boys in blue” beat the New York Mets Sunday night in 5 games to capture the World Series crown.
It’s not just that they won. But it’s how they did it. Eight times they came from behind, seven of those by more than two runs to win. The final game was epic. Trailing 2-0 going to the ninth inning, they tied the game with clutch hits, daring base-running, and being opportunistic with opponents errors. The game and the series was won in the 12th with a five-run explosion.
A Sports illustrated’s headline dubbed the Royals as “the greatest October comeback team ever.”
Yahoo sports writer Jeff Passan wrote “Of all the ways for the Kansas City Royals to win their first championship in 30 years, this was the most fitting for the team that put the never in never say die: coming back again, aggressive as ever, relentlessly punishing the New York Mets for one final, merciful time.”
We admire girt, determination, and a “never-say-die” attitude in the sports world. But I was thinking this morning as I reflected on the stories, isn’t this a great metaphor for life? And, isn’t this the spirit God’s people should possess?
In fact, if you’re on “God’s team” there is no question that you can come back.
Joseph came back. He was sold into slavery by his jealousy brothers. Falsely accused by a seductive woman. Languished in prison. But came back to serve as a great leader in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. And ultimately was God’s source of deliverance to save his family from famine (Gen 45:7)
Moses came back. After 40 years as “the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,” Moses killed a man, fled into the Sinai wilderness, and worked as Shepherd for 40 years. But called God him back to lead the children of Israel out of bondage to the brink of the promised land. (Ex. 3-14)
Peter came back. He was the disciple that became a denier of Jesus. Three times he denied his Lord and Master. Three times he succumbed to weakness. Three times he failed to live up to his boastful pledge, “If I have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mk. 14:31). But Jesus forgave him. And Peter became a great apostle, preacher and pastor.
What problem are you experiencing? What setback are you suffering? What illness are you battling? What temptation are you fighting? What defeat have you suffered? What embarrassment have you endured? What failure have you faced?
Are you hurting because of sin? Sickness? Divorce? Financial reverses? Addiction issues?
Do you feel like you are in the ninth inning and the devil is leading, leering and ready to celebrate victory over your soul?
You can come back. You can dig in. You can over come. You can win.
Because the greatest comeback in all human history was the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The Pharisees thought they had silenced him. Pilate thought his potential problem was now resolved. The disciples believed He was dead. Hiding behind closed doors they met, feeling the cause was lost.
But they all were wrong. Jesus came back. From the grave. From Hades. From death’s dark domain.
His words prophetic words to Martha ring in our ears, John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (Jn 11:25-26).
Place your faith in Him. Live for Him. Trust Him. There is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. Indeed His comeback reminds us of this great promise.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:37-39).
God loves you. You can come back.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman