Playing Through the Pain
Long before Steve Yzerman was general manager of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, he played center for the Detroit Red Wings. In 2002, despite having missed several regular season games with a badly injured knee, Yzerman returned to the ice to captain his team in the playoffs. Skating more or less on one leg, he scored 23 goals in 23 games and led Detroit to win the Stanley Cup.
The world of sports is filled with similar stories — athletes who competed through intense pain to win a big game, a league championship, or an Olympic medal. What makes a person do that? Determination. Commitment. Focus. A decision to strive for a goal regardless of the personal cost.
That’s the very thing to which God calls us when He tells us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus… who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Life has plenty of pain on offer, and not just the physical kind. In particular, the road of discipleship is long and strewn with difficulties. It would be easier to give up. But the crown of righteousness awaiting us is far more valuable than any medal or trophy (2 Timothy 4:8). The sacrifice is worth it. Commit yourself to the goal — and to the Savior. Keep playing through the pain and reach for the victory.