Well, some of us had to wait almost 20 years for it - but the 1996 New York Yankees finally won the World Series. Now they had to be the champs to do it - the Atlanta Braves. And after the first two games of the best-of-seven series, I thought the Yankees had gone into a coma - they got creamed. Ah, but that's when it got exciting - they came back to win next two games. The series was tied at two games apiece, of course - and the then Yankees appeared to doze off again in Game Five - they were behind 6-0! Speaking of dozing off, that's what at least one Yankee fan did - including the guy I heard buying a newspaper the next day. He saw the headline announcing that the Yankees had come back and won that game 8-6! He grabbed that newspaper, saw the outcome of the game, and then said some things I can't quote - after which he said, "I can't believe it! I gave up on them in the seventh inning and went to sleep!" He missed a great victory.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "It Ain't Over!"
Our word for today from the Word of God is a verse we need at least several times a year, I think. Maybe this is one of your days for it and God knew that. Galatians 6:9 - "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
God is challenging the mistake we make so often that costs us His best - we give up too soon. Like that sleeping Yankees fan. He looked at the way the game seemed to be going, decided it was as good as over, and he missed a great victory. Well, God doesn't want you to make that same mistake with something you've been hoping for - something that looks like it just isn't going to happen. You're tempted to give up. But God is flagging you down to say, "Don't become weary in doing good - the harvest you've hoped for is coming." Like Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over 'til it's over."
The problem is we look at the score right now and lose hope. But on God's scoreboard, it's only the third inning, or maybe the sixth or the seventh. But, you may be saying, "There just isn't enough time for it to happen now," or "I can't see any way it could happen now" - be careful. You're underestimating your all-powerful God - the One who delivered an entire nation from Egypt in one night!
But we tend to assume what the final score will be based on the score in the middle of the game. And that's when we give up and start taking God's will detours - we panic, we put together some patchwork solution of our own, we start leaning on our own understanding instead of trusting in the Lord with all our heart, or we just stop hoping, or praying, or working for it.
Which leads me to that wonderful challenge I heard years ago from a seasoned old saint - "Never doubt in the darkness what God has told you in the light."
Or, don't give up in the middle of the game, or don't give up even if it's near the end of the game. You can't tell what God is going to do for a wonderful finish to this game. God has a way of hitting a bases loaded, grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs - if you don't give up before that harvest comes! I just hope you don't miss that grand finish because you gave up on the game too soon!