Mat 11:28, 29 “Come unto Me all you labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me;
for I am meek and lowly of heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.”
That’s my Child
I was watching some little kids play soccer. These
kids were only five or six years old, but they were
playing a real game — a serious game. Two teams,
complete with coaches, uniforms, and parents. I didn’t
know any of them, so I was able to enjoy the game without
the distraction of being anxious about winning or losing.
I wished the parents and coaches could have done the same.
The teams were pretty evenly matched. I will just
call them Team One and Team Two. Nobody scored in the first
period. The kids were hilarious. They were clumsy and
terribly inefficient. They fell over their own feet, they
stumbled over the ball, they kicked at the ball and missed
it but they didn’t seem to care. They were having fun.
In the second quarter, the Team One coach pulled out
what must have been his first team and put in the scrubs,
except for his best player who now guarded the goal. The
game took a dramatic turn. I guess winning is important
even when you’re five years old, because the Team Two coach
left his best players in, and the Team One scrubs were no
match for them.
Team Two swarmed around the little guy who was now the
Team One goalie. He was an outstanding athlete, but he was
no match for three or four who were also very good. Team Two
began to score. The One goalie gave it everything he had,
recklessly throwing his body in front of incoming balls,
trying valiantly to stop them.
Team Two scored two goals in quick succession. It
infuriated the young boy. He became a raging maniac —
shouting, running, diving. With all the stamina he could
muster, he covered the boy who now had the ball, but that
boy kicked it to another boy twenty feet away, and by the
time he repositioned himself, it was too late — they scored
a third goal.
I soon learned who the goalie’s parents were. They
were nice, neat-looking people. I could tell that his dad had
just come from the office – he still had his suit and tie on.
They yelled encouragement to their son. I became totally
absorbed, watching the boy on the field and his parents on the
After the third goal, the little kid changed. He could
see it was no use, he couldn’t stop them. He didn’t quit, but
he became quite desperate, futility was written all over him.
His father changed, too. He had been urging his son to try
harder, yelling advice and encouragement. But then he changed.
He became anxious. He tried to say that it was okay — to hang
in there. He grieved for the pain his son was feeling.
After the fourth goal, I knew what was going to happen.
I’ve seen it before. The little boy needed help so badly, and
there was no help to be had. He retrieved the ball from the net
and handed it to the referee and then he cried. He just stood
there while huge tears rolled down both cheeks. He went to his
knees and put his fists to his eyes — and he cried the tears of
the helpless and brokenhearted.
When the boy went to his knees, I saw the father start
onto the field. His wife clutched his arm and said, “Jim, don’t.
You’ll embarrass him.” But he tore loose from her and ran onto
the field. He wasn’t supposed to — the game was still in progress.
Suit, tie, dress shoes and all, he charged onto the field, and he
picked up his son so everybody would know that this was his boy,
and he hugged him and held him and cried with him. I’ve never been
so proud of a man in my life.
He carried him off the field, and when he got close to the
sidelines I heard him say, “Scotty, I’m so proud of you. You were
great out there. I want everybody to know that you are my son.”
“Daddy,” the boy sobbed, “I couldn’t stop them. I tried,
Daddy, I tried and tried, and they scored on me.”
“Scotty, it doesn’t matter how many times they scored on
you. You’re my son, and I’m proud of you. I want you to go back
out there and finish the game. I know you want to quit, but you
can’t. And, son, you’re going to get scored on again, but it
doesn’t matter. Go on now.”
It made a difference – I could tell it did. When you’re
all alone, and you’re getting scored on — and you can’t stop them,
it means a lot to know that it doesn’t matter to those who love you.
The little guy ran back on to the field — and they scored two more
times but it was okay.
I get scored on every day. I try so hard. I recklessly
throw my body in every direction. I fume and rage, I struggle
with temptation and sin with every ounce of my being — and satan
laughs. And he scores again, and the tears come, and I go to my
knees — sinful, convicted, and helpless.
And my Father–my Father–rushes right out onto the field —
right in front of the whole crowd — the whole jeering, laughing
world and He picks me up, and He hugs me and He says,
“Child, I love and forgive you.
I want everybody to know that you are my child, and because
I control the outcome of this game, I declare you – Forgiven.”
I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore unto God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”