God… is my cheerleader! Yes, I said cheerleader. No, I don’t mean that kind. Of course, He doesn’t wear a skirt and carry pompoms everywhere He goes, but He does cheer us on. He’s rooting for us every day to run down the court, shoot for the goal, and receive the prize of the high five. Now, I know you must be thinking … why am I running? What goal? The prize is a “high five”? What does that mean? Well, I am glad you are asking these questions because my hope is that you’ll understand why God is my cheerleader and why He can be yours too.
When I was in high school, I played basketball. I usually played two positions which were the small forward or the power forward. Both required a great deal of running as I was closest to the goal. So in order to be able to run without losing my breath, I had to build up my endurance. The best way my coach knew how to do that was to get the team to run drills. Whoever came up with the name of the drills we were doing wasn’t kidding. They were called “suicides.” That’s right, suicides! Those drills nearly killed me most days, but when I tell you they worked, I mean they REALLY worked! With every practice, I was building up my endurance. Every breath became a little easier, and in time, I became a runner -- at least on the basketball court. You see, the one thing I know about running is that it takes effort. It takes effort to decide that you're going to subject your feeble body to pain. Yes, running is painful when you begin, but over time, as you practice the sport, your body gets stronger. Where I was once weak, I now was made strong as I began to practice more and more.
You see, God is my cheerleader because when I choose to make an effort, no matter how hard or painful the task, He is there giving me strength and whispering to me, ”You can do this! Press on and fight hard! Don’t surrender and fall beneath the white flag. You’ve got this! I believe in you.” His words of encouragement cheer me on.
Did you notice I said He whispers? Just as God doesn’t wear skirts and carry pompoms around, He also doesn’t shout at you. He prefers to cheer for you with a still small voice. He’s hoping that you will be still enough to listen and believe what He is telling you. God wants and desires to see you grow, to be all that He created you to be. So as you're running, take time to focus and listen to God’s voice.
Now that you know the answer as to why you need to run, what about the goal? What is the goal and when will you know you’ve reached it? I’ll never forget what my coach used to teach us about the goal. He said, “Aim for the square. If you hit the square, then you’ll make the goal.” The square is an outline of a square in the middle of the backboard right above the hoop. It is the target. In order to aim for the target you have to have the right position. You have to make sure you bend your knees and when you jump, throw the ball up and over with a slight hook of the wrist. Of course, I must admit, that was not the easiest thing for me to accomplish. I would always try too hard, forcing the ball just a little too much, which in turn caused the ball to bounce off the backboard instead of falling right through the hoop. It took great skill and focus to hook the ball with just the right amount of strength.
You see, God is my cheerleader not only when I run but also when I shoot for the goal. The goal is simply to overcome. To reach it you have to get in the right position to overcome with just the right amount of strength. The right position includes choosing righteousness, keeping a sense of self-determination, and focusing on the prize ahead. Waking up each day to decide that you CAN and WILL overcome the adversities that come your way no matter how tempting, how painful, or how hard it may be. God gives you just the right amount of strength to do so. All you have to do is use it. Are you willing to put forth the effort? Practice the right position? Shoot for the goal? God knows you can do it and so do I!
So you know why you must run and shoot for the goal, but what about the prize? Why is the prize a “high five?” While playing high school basketball, I felt such a great sense of accomplishment with every goal I made. It felt so good to know that all my hard work paid off. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the high five I got from all my team mates every time I made a goal. It was a great reward. The high five meant that my teammates had confidence in me. It showed me that they were proud of me and that I could be proud of myself.
You see, God is my cheerleader not only when I run and shoot for the goal, but also when I receive the prize of the high five. When I choose to make the effort to overcome in righteousness with his strength, God is proud of me. His confidence in me shows me that He is proud of me and that I can be proud of myself. This sense of accomplishment helps me to keep running, to keep shooting for the goal, and to keep receiving high fives from Him!
So what about you? What will you choose? Will you choose to allow God to be your cheerleader? If you do, you’ll never regret it. Because in the end … You WIN! Not on the court but in LIFE!
Keep calm and journey on,
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak; and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.”
-Isaiah 40: 28-31
Meet the Authors