Overtime [Part 1]
By Alan Wright — July 21, 2016
Are you ready for some good news?
If you suddenly find yourself in a greater challenge than you originally expected, take heart – you’re just in “overtime” and God is there with you.
Text: “And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.” (2 Samuel 2:11, ESV)
A couple years ago, I was primarily pulling for two basketball teams during the NCAA basketball season: my alma mater, UNC, and my son’s school, Baylor. Both my teams had the heart-stopping, exasperating experience of an unexpected overtime. First, there was Baylor. The Bears were up by three points with seconds left. Their opponent’s three-point attempt ricocheted off the rim, out of bounds to Baylor. With less than two seconds left, the only way the Bears could lose was to throw the ball inbounds and have it stolen so their opponent could get a last second three-pointer.
Believe it or not, that’s exactly what happened. The buzzer sounded and the game went to overtime. The next week, my Tarheels experienced nearly the same frustration. Ugh.
Sometimes life is like that, isn’t it? You think you have arrived. The “win” is in the books and suddenly there’s an unexpected twist and you find yourself in overtime. You thought the relationship was healed only to find out that another difficult conversation is needed. You land the big sales account only to find out that a competitor is trying to steal it. Your child is finally grown, and you find out her marriage is in trouble.
Overtime can be the hardest time of all because you feel like you’ve run out of steam.
It’s what happened to David. He’d been anointed as a youth, promised the throne, persecuted for years by King Saul and finally, the time had come to take the throne. But the Lord said to take the throne in Hebron, not in Jerusalem. David would be king over Judah, but not yet over all of Israel.
David thought he had arrived, only to find out that he had seven and a half more years to wait for the full kingdom.
If you find yourself in “overtime,” don’t despair. David eventually took the throne in Jerusalem. Eventually, you’ll take hold of every one of God’s promises. If you haven’t reached the goal yet, you haven’t lost. Take a long, deep breath. You’re just in overtime. God’s promises don’t fall to the ground. It might take longer than you think, but don’t despair. You’re going to win in it in overtime. And that’s the Gospel!