The Third Best News of the Day

If we win we will praise Him, and if we lose we will praise Him.

Coach's big speech from Facing the Giants

I like the movie, Facing the Giants. It is about a football team that had a reawakening that turned their whole season around. Now it's true that the movie is just fiction, but it has a very real message. When the team dedicated their lives to God, it sparked the entire school, which in turn sparked the entire community.

Their goal was this: To play their very best and at the end of the game, win or lose, they would praise God. And, even though this movie is just a movie, it contains a life lesson we all need: Devote yourself to God, present your requests to God and, win or lose, praise God for His help.

Late last night in a town called Petersburg, the Cowboys from Happy advanced to the Regional finals. It was a great game. The Cowboys have had a great season - the best they have had in many years, and they are not done yet. But, as great and exciting as this news was to those of us who love the Cowboys, it was only the third best news of the day.

The second best news involved a four year old boy named Caleb. I have written about Caleb before, but if you have not heard, Caleb has cancer and is going through some very rugged chemotherapy treatments. It had been over four weeks since he had a high enough blood count to have his chemo, and Caleb's family and doctors and loved ones were quite concerned.

I don't understand nearly enough about medicine, but the gist of the problem is that Caleb needed a blood count of at least 750 to have his treatments. Over the last four weeks, his blood count had been in the 500's and then the 400's. At church, we announced his difficulties and many, many people were praying for him. Finally, last Monday his blood count got up to 740, only ten points away from where he needed to be. His next test was on Thursday and surely, we all thought, his blood count would be high enough... but it fell to 688. The doctors told Caleb's parents if his count was not up by the next Monday, they would have to do a painful bone marrow test. What was going on?

On Saturday, we called everyone at the church we worship with and asked for special prayers. Of those who were called, I have no idea how many then made calls of their own, sent e-mails of their own, posted to facebook pages of their own, or had conversations of their own pleading for the prayers of others, but I do know this: On Monday, Caleb's blood count stood at over 2,500!

Now, some might be thinking, that is all well and good, but you cannot prove that prayer had anything to do with it. Perhaps those who think that way are right, but I think that they are wrong! Why do you think that God has us pray? Do you think it's merely an exercise, or is there something more?

I am here to tell you that it is something more - it is the power of God and that is why we pray! I also want you to know that whether or not things work out for Caleb in the way that I hope and pray they will, I believe the will God will be done! And, win or lose, if I may phrase it in such a clumsy way, we will praise God!

But Caleb's news is only the second best of the day. You see, Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. He came down from heaven, lived for a little while among men, took our sins upon Himself, and died for us that we might live. On the third day He rose again! That, dear friends, is the best news of the day. It is, in fact, the Good News!

Yesterday was a very good day! I wonder what today will be like?

"Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."

Jesus' prayer in the garden