Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Game of Life

On July 22 last year, I wrote a post about long suffering. If you didn't read it, you can find it here, but this is a quote from that post:

While I am hopeful that my fruit of long suffering has matured, and I don't need to go through more, I am confident that with Jesus I will not lose heart.

On that very day, July 22, 2013, my husband came home from a doctors appointment and let me know that he had advanced cancer. If I'm honest, it felt like I had been sucker punched in the gut.  I thought I was done with long suffering, but it had just begun, and begun big time. So I had to decide whether or not I trusted God, whether I trust him no matter what.  Whether I trusted him throughout the battle with cancer...and even after my husband's death in December.

This was not a quick or easy decision. It took much prayer and soul searching. But in the game of life, I decided that I do trust God.  Here is why. God is like the coach of a team. He cares about his "players" and wants them all to succeed and do their best, but at the end of the day, the coach's job is to look out for the team as a whole.

Maybe you're a batter, who is certain you could hit a home run, but the coach calls you to bunt...or to a sacrifice fly ball.  Maybe you're the pitcher, who knows you've got another good inning in you, but the coach pulls you out of the game.  You're not ready to go, but the coach takes the ball out of your hand and sends you to the dugout.

It's not personal. You may be the coach's best player. But he has to look out for the team as a whole.  Your bunt or sacrifice fly helps another player along. Being pulled out the game may be because you'll played such a great game, that the coach can't ask anything else from you, so he pulls you, and sends in a closer.

The Coach is looking out for both you and the team.  And if you don't trust your Coach, you cannot succeed in the game...of life.

God called me to a sacrifice fly, when I wanted a home run. God called my husband out of the game, when he was sure he had more innings left. With my favorite "player" gone, some of the joy has come out of the game. But I've got to keep playing. God will call me to another "at-bat" and I'll have to do what the Coach says.  And I will.  Because I know God cares about me. I know that God's team wins.

When the game is over, and we've won, all of the players will storm the field, whether they were taken out early or not, together.  And together, we will all celebrate!

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at


Melanie Dorsey said...

I continue to lift you and your girls in prayer. Shortly after Andrew passed, you sent me a silver angel with the words, "always in my prayers." It's been in my windowsill since the day you sent it. So I see it daily and think of you and now you are "always in MY prayers."

Kelly Combs said...

That is what I call "full circle." I would never compare the loss of a husband to a loss of a child...but cancer sucks and loss hurts, no matter what. And God redeems and God lives, and you & I are living proof of his grace and mercy. <3

Eileen said...

Love this,Kelly. I've always loved the idea of God as our coach. We need to trust the Coach!

seattle sara said...

John went to the big leagues: heaven. We are still in the minor leagues... gotta keep playing and trusting because one day we will be called up... until that time we have loads of living...doesn't mean it is easy or that we do it without emotions... we just have to remain the best players we can be. Thanks for this honest reflection: Seattle Sara is cheering you on!

Joanne Barden said...

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15, NIV
No one does it better than you my dear young friend. My prayers continue to be lifted on your behalf and for your two precious daughters. May God continue to fill you with His love, provide comfort in your quiet times and strengthen you as you round the bases. You are definitely on the "winning team". Much Love...

Kari Scare said...

So sorry for your loss, Kelly. Keep writing & being an inspiration. You're an inspirational player for sure!

Karen Hossink said...

Amen, dear sister!

Michele Cushatt said...

Beautiful, Kelly. You are brave!

Sandy Cooper said...

Kelly, I used to see you around the blogosphere years ago. I recently clicked on someone's profile and she had a blog roll with your name on it, and I clicked on it out of curiosity to see if you were still writing.

And I found this post about losing your husband.

I really have no words, but just wanted to express my deepest sympathy to you and your family and let you know how very sorry I am for your loss. I will pray for you.

Sandy (formerly of God Speaks Today, now named Scoop on Balance--in case that rings a bell) :)