“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
– Galatians 6:9
In 1990, I was surprised when I was drafted by the professional indoor lacrosse team called Baltimore Thunder. When I finished playing in college, I thought my playing days were finished. Little did I know that I would be selected by Baltimore to continue my career for four more years. My assistant coach for all four years was Coach Hoffy. He was the type of coach who lived by the motto, Work Hard, Play Hard. He was an incredible coach who drove us hard, but he also liked to play hard—maybe too much off the field!
During those four years, I was the weird Christian on the team who didn’t “play hard” off the field with the rest of the team. However, they did want me to pray hard before each game. As a result, Coach Hoffy affectionately nicknamed me Minister of Defense. Many times, they told me to pray a “good prayer,” because we had a big game that day. Even though not doctrinally sound, I’m glad they believed the prayer dictated the outcome of our game.
During those four years, I discovered that Coach Hoffy’s wife Janet loved Jesus and was committed to raising their kids in a way that would honor God. She was praying for her husband to know Jesus, so I joined her in those prayers in 1990. During the after-game Thunder parties, Janet and I would stand in the corner and pray for God to move in the hearts of Coach Hoffy and the other player and coaches. We were praying for a miracle!
Fifteen years later, it was amazing to see their son Josh join FCA as a volunteer and then as staff. We begin to see the fruit years later in Coach Hoffy’s family; it was a huge blessing to see prayers answered. But God wasn’t done. Over the following years, Coach Hoffy would join several FCA Lacrosse teams, but would always remind us that he wasn’t quite there yet.
Last month, we took an FCA Lacrosse team to Israel to serve in the World Cup of Lacrosse that happens once every four years. For me, it was a once-in-a-life-time experience, and wouldn’t you know it, Coach Hoffy and his son Josh were able to join the team.
There were 46 countries represented in the tournament, and we went as a team to prepare and serve the nations as the hands and feet of Jesus. Amazing ministry took place during the two weeks of sharing God’s love with hundreds of national players through outreaches and competitions.
However, the miracle of all miracles happened when our team went to the Sea of Galilee for a tour. During the tour, we were offered an opportunity for our players to get baptized in the Sea of Galilee for those who had never been baptized. Several players immediately responded. However, once we got into the water words can’t describe the joy when Coach Hoffy said he wanted to be baptized. Josh and I had the blessing to baptize him in the Sea of Galilee with the FCA team cheering wildly!
I witnessed a 28-year miracle. And for Janet, it was even longer than that! So often we want instant miracles, not a 28-year miracle. Spiritual seeds planted with obedience and faith will always produce fruit, just not when and how we want. God’s work always produces a harvest. Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” For Coach Hoffy’s miracle, the proper time was 28 years later in Israel with his son and a former player.
What spiritual seeds planted have you given up on? Can you hear Paul’s words, “we will reap a harvest if we do not give up?” Maybe the miracle is right around the corner. Don’t give up! The good news is, God hasn’t.
Father, help me to have the faith to believe seeds planted many years ago still can produce a harvest. There are times I have grown weary. Give me the heart to believe, the faith not to give up and the eyes to see the miracle happen Your way in Your time. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.