4th Quarter Time
While I was playing basketball competitively, my dad would always shout from the stands when the fourth quarter of the game hit. With not a care in the world whose ear drums he might annoy, he’d shout in a booming voice, “Martay- 4th Quarter Now!” Receiving his reminder, I’d give him an annoying look and motion for him to stop. In my head all I could think was, “Dad- I get it. I know it’s the fourth quarter of the game. Thanks… please stop embarrassing me.” It’s funny how random moments like this encourage my faith today. This morning I woke up, with a choice that needed to be made: I have been running a solid race until now and in this season I’m in, it is now the FOURTH QUARTER. What I mean by this is- I can sense that this spiritual season in my life is about to be up... just like the basketball game was going to end in a few, short 8 minutes. But, what am I going to do? Am I going to continue on while running lazily or am I going to push my absolute hardest and make sure I win this race? As annoying as he could seem at times, my Dad was simply shouting from the stands to make sure that I remained focused on winning (or sometimes coming back as an underdog from losing) my basketball game. He was in no way trying to embarrass me; he was declaring – LOOK! YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO WIN THIS THING. FOCUS. PUSH IN AND DON’T GIVE UP NOW. I BELIEVE IN YOU.
This is how we can be when we’re walking through our trials. We can often times get extremely tired, worn out from not seeing prayer(s) work and ready to give up. Don’t give in. It’s FOURTH QUARTER TIME! No matter how well you’ve been running or if you’re like me (a complete mess at times), how poorly you feel you’ve been running… GOD ABSOLUTELY BELIEVES IN YOU TO PUSH THROUGH. Make the word of God your priority and let no circumstance or man pull you down. The scripture that comes to my mind when thinking about not giving up is something that hit me in a new way today—Luke 18:1-8—
18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Jesus says to never give up when we pray. NEVER. If the King in charge says never to give up, we better heed his instructions and never give up. Giving up equals a lack of faith, while continually asking (even when it looks dumb, bleak and we don’t have) shows who we believe in. Even the widow above got what she was asking for from a man who was not nearly as powerful or good as God. Why won’t God give you what you’re asking for if it is according to his great plans for you? God has not forgotten you and He is not holding out on you. But you must know- God is not moved by need, He’s moved by YOUR Faith. How will you act in this fourth quarter of your life? As much as it hurts at times, I’m going to keep pushing.
Push with me,