“Three! Two! One! BZZZZZZZ!”
We were down by one point in a hostile gym. The opposing crowd went ballistic as the clocked ticked down its final seconds. It was my junior year in high school. My teammate passed me the basketball with three seconds left on the clock. I drove in hard for a layup as a defender reached in. The whistle blew and the buzzer sounded simultaneously. I had been fouled. With no time on the clock, all players headed to the bench… except me. I was alone on the free throw line. In front of me was the basket, behind that the crowd was screaming, waving, swaying back and forth. I had two shots. It was up to me and me alone. We would either win, tie, or lose the game. I could feel my arm stiffen up. When I lifted the ball, it felt like it weighed two hundred pounds. I took a good deep breath and put the shot up. It bounced off. While the crowd roared even louder, I looked over at my bench and they were all putting their towels over their heads. But I had one more shot to put the game into overtime. The crowd was yelling at me, reminding me of my last failure, jeering, taunting, screaming “Miss! Miss! Miss!” I did my best to raise the ball and take aim. As I took one last deep breath and released the shot, the whole world seemed to slip into silent slow motion as the ball began arcing its way toward the basket.
Does it really matter who we think we are? All the time. Who we think we are determines our actions, our reactions, and our responses in all situations. This is particularly true when we are in “pressure packed” situations, when we are figuratively (or literally, as I was that day) “on the line.” Will we define ourselves by the standards of the world or by the mystery of who we are in Christ, and who He is in us? Paul said:
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” -- Colossians 2:2-3
The mystery, simply stated, is Christ: His death, His resurrection, the cross and everything that comes with the cross. This one man who walked the earth 2000 years ago—Emanuel, God in the flesh—He is the mystery and He is the one who defines us. He is where we find our worth. He is our Life. All He has done for us, all He is in us, all that He wants to do through us… all of that is wrapped up in this mystery of Christ in us, the hope of glory! It’s the mystery that was hidden, but now has been disclosed to us, the Saints.
Will we choose the mystery or the world?
Jesus, You are the mystery. You are so contrary to all I have experienced in this world. By Your grace and the power of Your Spirit, lead me deeper into the Truth. Open my eyes. I want to see the mystery and how it impacts me today. Though my brain cannot fathom it, reveal to my soul who You are and who I am in You. Show me your grace, Your mercy and Your love that never fails, no matter what I look like, no matter what I have, no matter who I know… no matter if I miss both free throws when it’s all on the line.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
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