WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER -
......DEVOTIONS FOR LAMBS. No. 225
The footy oval was packed when they arrived. Zachary went off with the other players from his school to meet the coach. When they came back on the field he felt so grown-up and happy when the parents and friends in the grand-stands cheered them. Then he saw the other team coming on the field, kids he had never seen before, kids from a school in another town. He was suddenly a bit more nervous. They were tough looking boys, most were bigger than himself. Still he wasn’t scared. It was only a game. The game started and then the trouble began too. Everyone was after the ball, dodging around, grabbing it and kicking it - it was a muddled mass of bodies and flying boots! Zach ran around the edge of the others, trying to look busy. He just couldn’t bear to go into that awful mess and risk being knocked or kicked by the other boys! He kept on doing this for the whole first quarter. Just dancing around, keeping out of harm’s way.
The coach came up when they were in the break, he said, “You have got to get in there boy, no use staying jumpin’ around away from the action!” Next quarter Zachary was more afraid than ever, he was so miserable that his throat felt like it had a big lump in it. The last two quarters were even worse. His eyes were hot and stinging, and his face was red. When the horrible game finally ended, Zach had not even come close to mixing it with the other players, he had “bombed out” altogether. The other team beat their school easily. The boys in his team were quite nasty to poor Zachary. Tubby Dickson said, “you should have played in the girl’s hockey team, you would have done better there.” Zach had never felt so bad before. He wanted to curl up and die, he really did.
On the way home in the car the “girls” said nothing about the game. They talked about the picnic that was on tomorrow, and everything else but the game. Mum said, “hey, I know, we will go out to get hamburgers and chips tonight, we haven’t done that for ages. How about it Zach, would you like that.” Then Zachary exploded! “Don’t try to make me feel better with food, I’m not a baby. I’m just a great big lousy chicken, a rotten wimp." When they got home he rushed to his room and wouldn’t come out. He wouldn’t go out for fast food either and hid away in his room all that night.
Zach woke up early the next morning, he had had a very restless night as well. He had a head-ache and felt so low and upset. Then he thought that maybe Jesus would help him. So he snuggled up in the blankets and said, "Lord Jesus, please help me. I hurt inside so much. I am so disappointed in myself. I was scared, and I made a fool of myself. Please make the hurt go away.” Do you know that Zach felt so close to Jesus then, He felt surrounded by His love. Zachary whispered, “I’m sorry I was rude to Mum in the car. I’ll tell her so at breakfast time.” And then Zach told Jesus about all that he had felt in that awful game, his fear and his nervousness. It helped so much telling the Lord. Jesus made his hurt pride better too, and Zach’s headache stopped. By breakfast time he was so much better that he could laugh about the footy game - yes, he actually laughed and said, “Wow! that team had giant players. I guess I will have to practice a bit more before another game like that.” And everyone laughed with him. It was only a game after all.
Jesus can make even broken hearts better again. What a wonderful
Saviour. How do I know, dear lambs of God? Because He has mended my broken
heart too. Like He did for Zach. And He will do it for you too.
“Casting all your care upon him [ take ALL your sadness and worries to Jesus, tell Him about everything ]; for he careth for you [ He loves you and is interested in everything about you ].”
( I Peter 5:7).