Daily Devotion Nov. 9, 2023

Today’s Theme: A goal for which I am grateful

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, ESV).

     On August 31, 2002, Phil Brabbs lined up for the most important field goal of his life. The Michigan Wolverines trailed the Washington Huskies 29-28 with five seconds left on the clock. Earlier in the game, Brabbs was booed by the home crowd for missing three field goals.

     Yet as time expired, Brabbs kicked the ball through the uprights from a distance of forty-four yards. Teammates raised Brabbs onto their shoulders as the fans cheered victoriously. From that day forward, Brabbs’ accomplishment became known as “The Kick.”

     Ten years later, Phil Brabbs was asked to deliver the commencement address at Frankenmuth High School. The previous two years, Brabbs fought for his life against Multiple Myeloma. Many in the audience expected him to talk about “The Kick.” Instead, Brabbs told the graduates, “Be a failure. It’s the misses that propel you forward [in life].”

     In a personal blog, Braggs later wrote:

        I am now thankful for the misses, because to this day, they are helping guide me through some
        of life’s toughest challenges…So let’s raise our glasses to the many misses we have in life,
        whether missed field goals, snaps that got away from you, or an occasional botched hold.
        Those dark moments may just be the predecessor of a really great moment.

The truth is we all fail. God uses people who fail because there aren’t any other kind around.

     The great goal for each of us then is to fail hopefully. When we fail it is tempting to view ourselves as failures. Paul could have easily fallen into this futile way of thinking, as he wrote his letter to the Philippians from a Roman jail cell. However, Paul viewed failure as an opportunity to garner greater strength.

     Depending upon your perspective failure, like success, can be realized as a gift of grace. The gift of strength you receive depends not on the outcome, but upon God’s amazing love. The power of God’s intervening love is what grants you the help and hope necessary to keep pressing forward regardless of an impending victory or defeat.

     Friend, what I know is that when life’s failures come—and they will—God also will come and work within to redeem and strengthen you. And since failure is not an option, God’s restorative power always will grant you yet another opportunity. Remember greatness is determined not by how many times you fall but by how often you get back up. So, when it’s your time to take the field, again, make it your goal to be of great courage, run out there, and keep kicking.