I took a knee – not the kind of knee you think!
My freshman year of Bible College is packed with some pretty vivid memories. Having the privilege of playing on the girls’ basketball team was a highlight that year especially when we traveled to games with the guys. Since my guy was on the boys’ basketball team, how much more motivation could that be?
Basketball had been a priority in my life. But being short and not very fast, I wasn’t the best player on the team. However, I could handle the ball bringing it down the court, provide some points on the board, and rack up a few steals by reading the pass. I did enjoy playing the game. One home-game I will never forget, found me guarding a girl headed down the court on a fast break. She was determined to slip by me and make an easy layup and I was determined to not let her score, or if she did, take a charge so it wouldn’t count. And that’s what I did! Stepping in front of her to cut her off from making an easy layup, I took the charge. But regrettably, I also took a knee.
Hunched over on the floor trying to catch my breath, I thought I was going to die! Never having been punched in the stomach before made this an eye-opening experience – one I never want to repeat. Gasping for air and not finding any, only pain, I stayed on all four. Until . . .
My coach darted out onto the floor advising me to lie down on my back. Not wanting to move because of pain and wheezing for air, she had to forcibly get me to turn over, and presto! My lungs expanded, and I was able to breathe!
Have you ever been hit in the gut? Have you ever felt as though you couldn’t breathe? Maybe you’ve suffered a loss or huge disappointment caused by a husband or a child, or maybe even the Church! Where was the “Coach” when you needed Him to rush to your side? Where was He when you needed Him to forcibly get you to look up so you could breathe again? Don’t ever think God isn’t there watching the whole ordeal. Picture with me the vast knowledge of our Creator and His continual care: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! . . . You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways, . . . Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:1, 3, 7-8, 17, [ESV])
Better than a coach is our heavenly Father that sees and hears every punch to the gut, and difficult situation that takes our breath away.
I especially love the words to Israel in Isaiah 40:1, “Comfort, O comfort My people, says your God.” My brilliant husband recently shared with me that the word for “Comfort” in this passage means “to cause to breathe again!” Don’t you just love that?! Israel was going to experience some pretty severe chastising, but God wasn’t going to leave them there. He would cause them to breathe again!
He’s always there waiting and willing to get us to the place where we can breathe again, bringing rest and restoration to our soul. But, we need to be listening for His voice, not looking to the things of this world to bring comfort, but to the One Who knows everything about us. He knows just what we need to breathe air back into our calamity, and He knows the position that will best assist in reviving our souls. He not only symbolizes how a coach brings instruction but He’s a Shepherd steering sheep.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
For his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
Your rod and your staff,
They comfort me.” (Psalm 23:1-4)
If for some reason you have to take a knee today, remember the One Who can “cause you to Breathe again!”
“Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” (Psalm 35:27b)