Late game situation: we are down by 7 points, and there is 2 minutes and 30 seconds left to go on the clock. I call time out, and my team comes to the bench. As I start talking, I notice some heads are down, and others have faces that carry a look of defeat. So I say to them, “Why are you acting as if you have already lost?? There is still time left….you are still in the game! Don’t give up, because you can still win….even now!”
“‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning’.” (Joel 2:12)
Those are the two most powerful words in that verse. It shouts to us that even though we feel defeated, the game ain’t over yet. God wants us to be victorious. Of course, being down by 2 points seems a little more hopeful than if you are down by 20. But God said, “even now”, no matter what the scenario. There is only one stipulation.
return to me….
This requires us to admit that we messed up. It requires us to depart from our own way, and go back to God’s way. You can’t just go through the motions either, as He says “return with all of your heart”.
“Tear your hearts, not your clothes. Return to the LORD your God. He is merciful and compassionate, patient, and always ready to forgive and to change his plans about disaster.” (Joel 2:13)
That is the game-changer. Returning whole-heartily to living the way that God intended us to live. He gives us guidelines on every situation that we face; we just have to seek and follow them. Even now, the game can change for us. Even now, we can go from down by 20 points., to bringing home the gold. Even now, God is patiently waiting for us to just throw out our way, and go back to His. Never accept that it is too late, cause you know what they say….
It ain’t over til the buzzer goes off!