You'd have to know the whole story to grasp why these two young men fascinate me so much. Time nor energy will allow me to share the entire narrative, so I will be brief. The story is a living example of the truth shared in the previous blog - the one reminding us that "weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning" (Psalm 30:5).
You may have already read that our church experience in Trenton started out on an all time high. God was at work, and people in the church were excited about what God was doing. Most of the people, actually, but not all of the people. Underneath the surface was a brewing faction of people who quickly became uncomfortable with what the Lord was up to in this place. Unfortunately, families and friends began to separate, almost as if people were forced to choose sides. Satan always makes us think we have to choose sides, doesn't he? Anything to diminish God's glory.
Almost immediately after our move, our oldest son became friends with a young man in the church. They were almost inseparable, and their friendship brought our families together, as well. You might imagine that the enemy works in the most sensitive places. This situation was no exception. The enemy used the church and broken relationships to threaten the friendship between these two young men. For a time, the relationship might have been strained, but today they are an example to many of how to accomplish a common goal with two people unified by the Spirit of God.
Interestingly enough, what the enemy meant for evil the Lord meant for good. The pain of separation was strong, yet moving away from being part of the same Christian based organization actually forced these two young men to decide that they were not friends because they went to church together or because their parents were friends. Instead, they were friends because they actually liked each other and encouraged the development of different character traits in each other. The enemy is losing this battle, and not only this one, but he is losing another battle in the community. These two young men together play an important role in the one thing that seems to matter in our town more than anything else - football.
The miracle of God's glory is that every time (so far) these two young men step onto the football field to execute the extra point, the Lord brings them success. Don't get me wrong. The kicker is strong and extremely accurate. The holder is determined, steady, and amazingly precise. Perhaps Ecclesiastes 4:12 will help the image become more clear: "And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him - a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Each week as fans watch the Golden Tide push ahead toward victory, a spiritual battle is being fought as well. The enemy wants to steal God's glory, and in many ways he has done so in this community. Perhaps, though, our Lord is not finished yet. Paul wrote some convicting words in Romans 15:5-6: May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (ESV). Could it be that a segment of this small community is being exposed to the light of Christ in unsuspecting fashion? How fascinating that God might use the one thing that this community rallies around (Peabody football) to teach us all that in Christ we can overcome whatever the enemy puts in our way. Two young men with the power of the Holy Spirit at work to glorify Christ. Wow. We really do serve an astounding God.