This week we are in North Texas house hunting. To find the “right” house requires looking at a lot of houses! It takes persistence and perseverance. But that’s definitely not the big news in the lone-star state.
We’re here in Aggie land. And hoops fans are ecstatic about their men’s basketball team. For the non-sports person, here’s what happened over the week-end.
March Madness is always filled with upsets with lower seeded teams beating higher seeds. Just ask #2 seed Michigan state who lost to the #15 seed MTSU Blue Raiders. Or #2 seed Baylor who was beaten by the Ivy League Yale, a #15 seed. There were also exciting last second shots and incredible comeback wins like University of Northern Iowa. After Texas tied the game with 2.7 seconds left on the clock, UNI’s Paul Jesperson took the in bounds pass dribbled once and launched a Hail Mary from half-court to win the game. It has already been called “the greatest shot in NCAA history.”
However, with both Texas and Baylor beaten, the state would receive redemption with the unbelievable come-back by the Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday evening. Ironically it would be against UNI. Trailing by 12 points with 40 seconds left in the game, the Aggies outscored the Panthers 14-2 to tie the game in regulation and finally win in double overtime 92-88. This improbable win has been hailed “the greatest comeback in NCAA history.” One math whiz calculated the chances of that occurring were 1 in 3,000. But they did it.
Now, I haven’t learned what an “Aggie” is yet, but I know this. They don’t quit. And that’s the one lesson from March Madness that would serve us well in life. In our homes. Our country. And in our spiritual walk.
Never, ever, give up.
Even when the odds are stacked against you, don’t quit. When you are pressured by problems, temptations or trials, keep on going.
Sometime it seems that the cause of Christ is losing. And the devil is up by a score that makes it impossible to win. It’s easy to become discouraged at the dishonesty of people in power, of corrupt politicians, and a biased news media. We are disillusioned at religious leaders who let us down. And even fellow Christians who lose their faith. Then when we suffer personal set-backs, it’s too easy to become disheartened. Discouraged. And defeated.
That’s why the Bible exhorts us to steadfastness in the midst of tribulation. God is saying to us, “Never give up!”
“Be not weary in well-doing” (Gal. 6:9)
“Never tire of doing what is right” (2 Thess. 3:13)
“Continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Col 1:23)
In good times and bad, prosperity and adversity, success and failure, forget the score and stay focused on the goal. The Bible admonishes us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2)
Do you feel exiled in the wilderness of sin? You can come back. Moses did.
Do you feel like you’re either in the pit or the prison of life? You can come back. Joseph did.
Do you feel defeated because you’ve denied Jesus? You can come back. Peter did.
Do you feel like you are at the end of the game and the devil is leading, leering and ready to celebrate victory over your soul?
You can come back. You can dig in. You can overcome. 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 were all wrong!
The one lesson we need to learn. The one quality we need to develop. And the one principle we need to apply is persistence. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Don’t give out.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor 15:58).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman