Right beside the building where I work at is the grandiose International School Manila. Every day in our office on the fourth floor of Every Nation Building, we get to see a good bird’s eye view of the school’s soccer field where kids in their PE uniforms run and play like captives let out in the open. When I need to rest my mind from working, I oftentimes resort to spending a good couple of minutes just staring out at my glass window and watching these kids play soccer.
Always from my point of view, these grade schoolers seem to play soccer like a piece of a cake. In my mind sometimes I’d think that to run swiftly, kick and throw the ball all around the field and score a goalie are easy stuff to do. No sweat at all. But isn’t it that that’s how it always feels and looks like when you’re not actually the one doing it?
I’ve had my fair share of soccer games when I was in high school. We played it in one of my PE classes. It’s a tedious, breath-catching, legs-numbing game. I didn’t get to appreciate this game that much because us girls would always end up tired not just from running here and there but mostly from laughing at almost everyone’s mistakes.
Soccer isn’t easy. At least it’s not when you’re out there on the field. But it do looks easy when I’m on the fourth floor because I’m – yeah, I’m basically not there. I don’t know the bumps and bruises those grade schoolers get whenever they flunk or stumble, neither the burning heat of the afternoon sun that strikes on their skin. Not even the obstacles they go through when they try to score a goalie.
Don’t know ‘bout you but sometimes I’ve the tendency to treat God as the Guy up there who’s so distant watching over us from above. And isn’t it that at times we question him and say, “God, you don’t know what I’m going through! You don’t know how hard this is for me!”
Because we see Him like He’s on the fourth floor of heaven sitting comfortably while watching His children play the soccer of life from a distant. We think He doesn’t know the lungs that gasp for air, the legs that get numb, the heart that beats fast from running around. So yeah, thanks God for placing us on a more intense game now that we’re already too tired from running.
Today, as I watch these grade schoolers play an intense game, I realize that though God gets a full view of the whole universe and we may be like a speck of a dust compared to the vastness of His creation, He understands what His children are going through. He knows our pains, our frustrations, our joys and triumphs. He’s a God that is very much involved. He knows details. He’s a personal God. In fact, David understood this and wrote in Psalm 139, “O Lord. you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!”
As if that wasn’t enough and He also knows the plans He has for us “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
At times though, what we forget is the fact that He sees the full view of the soccer field and we find it hard to trust Him when He says “Run!” or “Kick that ball, you can score a goalie from where you are standing.” So we choose to rather do things our way depending on what we see in front of us, “God, it doesn’t look like I can score a goalie from where I am standing right now, I need to move a little bit to my left! Let me move to the left!” And sure enough, we missed it. Because we didn’t want to trust the God of the universe.
And just when we were about to lose the game, He came down from heaven through His son Jesus and called for a substitution. You sit there and he did the kicking and running for you under the intense heat of the sun. He didn’t have to, mind you. But He knew how badly we will mess up the game and how badly we need His help.
Good news is – He won. Oh don’t look too surprised. He’s good at soccer. He created it, remember? And so if we are in Him, we can always experience victory.