I have been a Montreal Canadiens hockey team fan since I can remember (early sixties). Consequently I am super spoiled. In my lifespan, as a fan, I have seen no less than 13 Stanley Cups won by this team. They are, along with the New York Yankees, one of the greatest and most decorated sports franchises in the world.
It has been sheer delight, almost a maniacal joy to watch my heroes destroy teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Detroit Redwings, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames and the LA Kings with the most overrated “best player ever” of all time: the annoying Wayne Gretzky. (Bobby Orr was greater, sorry folks).
We had a bit of a drought from 1980 to 86. Although we remained competitive, it was painful to watch my team finish less than best. So, in 1986, after 7 long painful years of frustration ended, we won the Cup again. It was heaven. It was as it should be. The Stanley Cup was where it belonged, back home, in Montreal. We didn’t win another cup for another seven years. And since then we have not one any. For me, a man who is used to watching his team win, it has been a long long season of drought. Yet somehow I felt this storied franchise would come back.
This year has been the worst year in Canadiens history since 1940. We are at present the worst team in the NHL statistically, but not on paper. This team almost went to the finals two years ago with essentially the same line up and coach. Now, well, they stink. They really stink and they can’t find a way to win against teams that are not worthy to be on the same ice.
What of it my friend ? What of it ? Sometimes you can be the wisest, the strongest, the fastest, the richest and the best and still get decimated by life. Life is bigger than all of us. No one, no matter how great, can master it forever. Adversity will come. The mighty will fall. Just ask the Montreal Canadiens.
Life is bigger than all of us. Yet, we believe our finite limited selves can overcome it. Then, tragedy comes: an unexpected major expense, a loss of employment, an unexpected disease, an untimely death. Or, a love relationship suddenly goes sour and dies. Enthusiasm and energy drains. Motivation is nowhere to be found.
Nothing is worse than doing all you know and find nothing is working for you anymore. No matter how hard you try to fix it things it get worse. What a feeling of hopelessness. How can anyone in this state escape despair.
Do we turn to God in those moments ?
I am reminded of a Scripture verse from that states “It’s not by might, not by power, by His Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6) The meaning is clear. God is bigger than life and we were never meant to live it apart from his strength and intervention. How foolish to think that we can. Every one of us will discover sooner or later we can’t. We will be overwhelmed. Hurt will find us. Setbacks will come. Adversity lies in wait.
Surely, we find we are able to deal with a lot of it. It’s amazing how resourceful and cunning we can be. God has gifted us with a prowess that can handle almost anything.
Right ! GOD has given us this prowess. We can handle almost anything !!! Almost. What about we what can’t handle ? Will it turn us to him ?
I don’t know about you but in my case I was confronted with something I could not handle at the age of 19. I become ill with an incurable disorder. It was the worst season of my life. I turned to God. I committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. In that moment, I set out on a course that revealed what my real problem was : SIN: separation from him, ignorance of his ways. Since then my definition of sin is simply this: living your life without God.
Some believe in him but live like atheists. They pay him lip service and may even go to church every week but their lives are self directed. God does not receive the honour he deserves. He is not the source and centre of their lives. Though they have a form of godliness they deny its power by putting him on the back burner of their lives. He may be a quaint idea. He may be a religious ritual. But he is not the lifeline. He is not Lord. He is essentially nothing: just a formality; nothing more. Some don’t believe in him at all.
It is sorrow and tragedy that serves to speak to us about our need for him. The Scriptures tell us godly sorrow leads to repentance. In other words, when I am down and crushed beyond my ability to recover it may lead me to look up to him and LIVE.
Sometimes the mighty fall. As far a I am concerned, they always do sooner of later. It is testimony to me that there is someone mightier yet who empowers us to rise above anything we can face.
The prophet Zephaniah once declared this truth in his book (Zephaniah 3:7)
“The LORD your God among you is powerful— he will save and he will take joyful delight in you. In his love he will renew you with his love; he will celebrate with singing because of you. “ (New International Version)
In Jesus, he is not only among us, he with us always and lives in us. Nothing is impossible for us. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Even if it’s the worst season of our lives.
No matter how tough things get we know “All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose” Rom 8: 28
Has anybody thought to pray for the Montreal Canadiens? They sure could use it.