David Oppertshauser
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      Today’s Food for Thought is by Doug Schwartz guest writing on David Campbell’s blog. I remember running my guts out on the football field on those brisk late September nights a very long time ago. We had a small school with a small team, and I had to play both offence and defence. Sometimes I never came off the field. On top of that, I was given the ball for 11 other players to chase and tackle me. I can remember as a very young player years laying on the bottom of a pile with the opposing team pinching me while I was down. Then in high school I remember our opponents hitting hard to tackle me and then putting their whole body weight on my chest as they pushed themselves up, saying in a mocking voice “How do you like that, Rookie?” Rookie” was the nickname they gave me because I was the youngest player on the team. They thought it was a slam, but for me it was a badge of honour. Sometimes when the enemy hits us over and over again, hard, fast and continuously, and mocks us in the process, even the things that are spoken in a mocking way can get to us.  I remember during one of those battles just getting sick of the abuse and lowering my head to run over them instead of trying to avoid them to get extra yardage. I wanted to punish them, but they got in my head and I started playing their game and not gaining as much yardage as I should have. When you are suffering, the enemy will try to mock you and get in your head. He will tell you to sink to their level to fight back. He will tell you to give up. Don't do it!  Keep going. Keep your eyes on the Lord and play the way he taught us too. You have a game to win with your teammates. 1 Peter 5:8-10 says this: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” Stand firm in God's strength, for when you are weak, he is strong. Listen to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit, not the roar of the enemy prowling around like a lion. Press into God. Seek his face and his presence. Serve to please him. Then just watch what God will do.  There was nothing more exciting than to hear my teammates tell me to run their way and they would open up a hole for me. I feel that God wants to open up some holes on the field of life so we can run free. The excitement of running through that hole and having players running with me blocking the opposing players down the field was amazing. Then to stand in the end zone with the ball with so many fans standing and cheering and teammates jumping and giving high fives is a memory I will always cherish.  Not everyone has experienced that on a football field like I have, but you may have in another manner. It reminds me of how the body of Christ must work together and carry each other’s burdens. We must help each other through life as the enemy comes to tackle us. Life as a believer isn't easy. The enemy wants to hit us and destroy us. But God is on our side, and we have some amazing people to run with us. Run for the prize. Block for someone else. Cheer others on. Whatever you do, do something to advance the kingdom of God down the field. And then we will all win. I