Every fall I get super excited about the return of football season. The stretch from February to mid-September with no football is painful. As the season approaches, thoughts start to creep into my head. Thoughts like, “I think we have made some pretty good moves this offseason,” or “this could be the year we turn it around,” or “there should be no way that we miss the playoffs.” I have taught myself over the years to not dwell on those thoughts. Unfortunately, the teams I pull for have a certain way of crushing my hopes. So over time I have forced myself to not get hopeful or too optimistic heading into the season. When I do, my hopes are usually crushed by week 3 or 4. Even if there is a big part of me that wants to say, “This is the year! There is no way we could mess this up,” I won’t let myself do it.
That isn’t really a fun way to be a sports fan- pulling for a team that is repeatedly letting you down. I can’t just turn my back and become a fan of another team because that would feel like betrayal. No matter how mad or frustrated they make me, I won’t stop pulling for my team. Sometimes I wonder why I look forward to football season so much when I know it probably won’t bring me a lot of joy, but every year I come back hanging on to a little thread of hope.
It makes me thankful that God is not like the sports teams I pull for. I’m thankful that I can put my hope in Him and know that I will not be disappointed. Psalm 147:11 says, “No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.” The Lord delights in those who put their hope in Him. Knowing that is awesome. No matter what the circumstances look like, I know that I can put my hope in God and He will be there. It may seem like the odds are against me, but God takes great pleasure when I put my hope in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Even when things don’t make sense, I can put my hope in God and trust that He will guide me.
Unlike sports teams, God doesn’t have an off year. God doesn’t need to take a few years to rebuild. God isn’t limited by a salary cap. It’s reassuring to know that no matter what God is never going to let me down.