Eleven long years had gone by since the Vols of Tennessee had beaten the Florida Gators. Some years the score was completely lopsided. However, in the last two seasons just to add insult to injury; the Vols. lost the game by a single point. You would have thought after all of these years fewer and fewer UT fans would have shown up for this particular game each season thinking there was no hope of victory. But that wasn’t the case. As the cameras panned across the stadium, the majority of the 102,000 in attendance were dressed in orange and white and positioned around the stadium to create a signature checkerboard motif.
Being fairly new to Tennessee, I have to say that I don’t bleed orange yet, but I determined to try to watch the game. All appearances pointed to another long afternoon for the Vol nation. At halftime, it even appeared like the Gators may have had an insurmountable lead. Many of my friends on Facebook were posting what they considered to be the inevitability that the coach was going to need to find a new job. My wife and I left the house at halftime to have dinner with a precious couple from the church and didn’t think anything more about the game. On the way home my wife said surprisingly that she thought that the Vols had won. I said, “No way” in disbelief. When we got home we were able to confirm that they had truly won. The funniest thing for me was watching those on Facebook who had called for the coach’s job now trying to save face. You see, they didn’t want to be associated with those who had given up.
In Galatians 6, Paul is trying to encourage a church that had seen many hardships themselves. Persecution was rampant and there were also those who were coming in and preaching false doctrine and trying to persuade people to believe a lie. He encourages them to never give up in verse 9. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up. He was like a coach talking to his players and telling them that even though it seems like they are continually losing and can’t seem to find their way out of it that if they keep doing the things that they know that they’re supposed to do that eventually the hard work would pay off and they would win.
We are all tempted at times to give up, to walk away, to stop doing what we know that we should be doing. Jesus himself in the garden of Gethsemane cried out and asked his Father if there was any way for this cup of suffering to be avoided, but he didn’t stop there thankfully. He said, “Not my will but your will be done.” He is our example and he is the one who gives us the strength in the difficult times of life to not grow weary and not give up knowing that in God’s way and in God’s time the same victory Jesus experienced at the resurrection will be manifest in our lives either in this life or in the life to come. My prayer is that you will be encouraged with these words and that you will encourage others with them as well.
P.S. Bring on Alabama!