Linda Beck: Facing the giants

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2016

There are several Christian movies of which I am very fond. One is called “Facing the Giants.” It is about a high school football team and the coach who has suffered several losing seasons. The coach has an old vehicle that causes a lot of problems and a household full of needed repairs and his financial sources are limited.

He and his wife have been trying to have a baby for about four years, but that hasn’t happened. The coach has heard rumors about some parents who would like for the school to replace him so he is worried and very depressed.

One day a preacher came by and read to him from the book of Revelation 3:7-8. The coach was so touched that this man came and shared this message with him. He spent time reading the Bible and praying and approached the team about praising God and changing their negative attitudes.

He realized God had opened the door for him to pass His word to the students that they could not be winners unless they “praise God when they lose as well as when they win.” He convinced one young man that he should honor his father and respect him even though they did not get along. The father was so impressed when his son came and told him about the coach’s advice that he anonymously donated a new truck to the coach.

The team’s season began to change and they ended up in the state finals where they actually defeated a team that had won the championship four consecutive years. An even happier event happened when his wife found out she was pregnant!

Watching this movie for the “umpteenth time” was such an uplifting blessing and I knew I had to write a story. I got my Bible and read the Scripture which was in the letter to the church in Philadelphia in the book of Revelation. This was one of seven letters written to the churches in the province of Asia.

I have read Revelation many times and understood it best when I heard it on tapes by Dr. David Jeremiah. Actually, my favorite Scripture was in the letter to the church in Laodicea. Chapter #3:20 was one I used in my testimony at the many Christian women’s clubs where I spoke when my health was better. It reads as follows: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

But this time the verse in chapter 3:7-8 spoke to my heart: “What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” It went on to read: “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

You may wonder why God used this to get my attention. This same week three people had told me how my stories have inspired them in bad times as well as good ones. One lady wrote a letter telling me how several years ago, her husband had a nearly fatal accident and they did not know for a time if he would survive. She said some of my stories had really helped her to deal with their life changes. She also sent a check for $80 to help us buy envelopes for the card ministry. Folks often ask where the stories come from and I thought this would be a good example in answer to that question. I have experienced doors that God has opened and others that he has shut. I don’t always understand his reasons, but just like the coach told the students, I love him in the bad times as well as the good. He has given me “that peace that surpasses understanding” and I have kept his command “to endure patiently.”

Scoffers will not see how scripture from the Book of Revelation can apply to us in today’s world. But just as the movie showed a coach praying with students, it reminds me of how such a prayer is frowned upon today and not allowed in many places; schools, government meetings, and even some community service meetings.

But what a delight that there can still be such activity shared even if it is through a fiction movie. Maybe I have inspired you into watching some of the following movies rather than some of the other trash on television: “Flywheel,” “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” “Waterproof,” “Road to Redemption,” and many other shows on the Hallmark Channel. Thanks be to God for getting my attention through the movie, “Facing the Giants.” The other times I had watched it I did not catch the scripture about the open or shut doors. That is just another example of doing things in God’s time, not our own!

Linda Beck is a local writer who lives in Woodleaf.




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