Tom Malone, former president and COO of Milliken and Company, told a story about his life as a football player:
I played football in college. I wasn’t very big—only 150 pounds—and I wasn’t very good. I got hurt a lot. I broke my arm once, my neck once, and my nose six times. When I tell people about it, they always ask me, “Why did you keep doing it?” For the longest time I had no answer. Then one day it hit me. If there hadn’t been any fans in the stands cheering me on . . . I wouldn’t have kept on playing and trying so hard. But there were, so I did.1Tom Malone, as quoted in John C. Maxwell, Encouragement Changes Everything: Bless and Be Blessed (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008), 23.
When you are a caregiver to someone in need, sometimes you can feel a bit “beat up.” Your arms ache, your heart hurts, your dreams leave, and your nose runs as the tears fall. There are fumbles and falls, jeering jabs of judgment, and you wonder where there’s a huddle of helpers to care for you.
Dedicated one, stay in the game. Press on. Stay faithful. I’m one of your biggest fans, cheering you on. But more than that, God wants to see you persevere as well. The Lord honors our patient endurance through suffering (1 Peter 2:20). He knows you are exhausted, maybe resentful, and weary, that you want to toss in the towel. But that’s not all there is to you. Beneath the struggles and the emotions, through your faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit working in your life, you possess the ability to endure, to persevere, to fight the good fight, to run across the goal line. God helps you run the race like a champion. He wants you to run well, and so do I. Today, may you hear a cheerful word from a fan in the stands . . . I’m applauding, I’m celebrating YOU!
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|1.||↑||Tom Malone, as quoted in John C. Maxwell, Encouragement Changes Everything: Bless and Be Blessed (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008), 23.|