For All the Marbles

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God.” -James 4: 6

Long before the advent of Madden Football, my best friend Cliff and I perfected our own hands-on version.  Usually played on the synthetic turf of Cliff’s living room carpet, each marble football team consisted on a quarterback and three receivers, who would “catch” the black marble “football”- unless the pass was intercepted by an opposing marble!  Although offensive plays were limited to passing, all other facets of a regular football game were incorporated.  The only fantasy was choosing a uniform color of marble for our respective teams.

Professional football’s ultimate prize, the Super Bowl, is only weeks away.  Playing for all the marbles of earthly fame, money, and glory, one of the teams will experience the agony of defeat.  Disappointed diehard fans put life on partial hold until possible redemption next year.  Our ministry downsizing or vocation loss is devastating on a much deeper and personal level.  Hearts become calloused as we attempt to compensate for our vulnerability with worldly marbles.  For, as Stephen Mansfield describes in Healing Your Church Hurt, each wounding arrow that hits its mark in our souls carries with it a message making a statement about our lives.  That message lasts long after the pain subsides.

Our misguided sense of completeness- perhaps rooted in vocation, relationships, finances, or the ultimate success of our favorite sports teams- no longer masks our brokenness.  Timothy Keller states that when we can’t keep the darkness at bay any longer, we realize that “we will need something more than our own understanding, competence, and power can give us.”

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God is remaking us to be complete in Christ.  In the darkness of our vocation loss, the Lord is holding us securely.  May this chorus of “Keep Making Me” be our prayer throughout and beyond our healing, transformational journey:

‘Til you are my one desire

‘Til you are my one true love

‘Til you are my breath, my everything

Lord please keep making me.


About the author

Dave Henning

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