Time Out


"Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am weak; heal me, Lord, for my bones are shaking.… The LORD has heard my plea for help; the Lord accepts my prayer." — Psalm 6:2, 9


A personal journey with Jesus is like a football game in the sense that both require the active participation of the players. An athlete who gets in the game and competes for victory is like a Christian who seeks to demonstrate his faith with good works. James wrote, “Someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works” (Jms 2:18). Athletes who compete with all their heart make their coach proud, even if mistakes happen. A believer who walks by faith makes the Lord pleased, even if he stumbles, and God calls him a friend (Jms 2:23).

When an athlete becomes shaken, rattled, or injured, the coach calls for a time-out. What usually follows is a private discussion between the player and the coach. Others see the conversation, but no one else can hear it. The point of the time-out talk is to regain momentum in order to go back on to the field with a plan.

Similarly, when we walk by faith and are seeking to be used by God to build His kingdom, we will suffer hard times, persecution, and brokenness. That’s often when God calls time-out. He wants to bring us into His presence for some private time with Him in His Word and in prayer. He will restore, encourage, and put the pieces of our life together so that we will be stronger and refreshed to finish our race. Be encouraged under God’s mighty hand. He will see you through until the play clock stops. (1 Tm 1:18)


1. In terms of living for God, are you in the game or are you standing as a spectator?
2. Do you make daily time alone with God a priority in your life?
3. Are you allowing God to call the plays in your life, or are you doing things your way?


1 Timothy 1:18; James 2:18, 23


Father, it is my prayer that You will call a time-out in my life if it is needed. Help me look to Christ my Coach for direction when the game is getting hard, and give me grace not to call the plays myself. Amen.