Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week 6 - Further Along the Journey

Keep On, Keeping On by Kurt Olson

Did you hear about the 17-year-old tennis player Vicki Duval? She was the 298th ranked tennis player who won in the US Open this year against the 11th ranked and a former U.S. Champion.  Though that was quite a feat, but it isn’t really all of her story. Vicki has seen and lived through some life-changing tragedies from her homeland in Haiti. 
Vicki Duval
Time Magazine
At age 7, Vicki and her older sister were kidnapped and held for ransom by men in Haiti. She and her sister survived that horrible ordeal.  In 2010 her dad (a doctor) sent the family to the US while he stayed in Haiti to help out the poor in their country. The office where he was practicing collapsed during an earthquake and he was buried under the building structure, but was not killed. He was able to make a phone call to Vicki’s mom, intending to say goodbye before he died, and that he dearly loved them. Vicki was there when her mother collapsed to the floor in grief. Miraculously, her father did manage to pull himself out, and though he still suffers some physical problems, he is alive today.

At a young age, Vicki is battle tested beyond her years. I couldn’t help but wonder if those events somehow had something to do with this recent match as she struggled to win. In her words, Sam, her opponent, didn’t have her best match, and she had the match of her life so far.
Each of us to some degree experiences this battle testing when we suffer loss and are dealing with grief. We experience it when we struggle to keep going, keeping up with the day-to-day, and when we feel like giving up, but we don’t give up.  Could this be the heart of the message God is telling us in His word? 

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 (NIV)
So let’s keep going. God’s promise is true!

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