Our family is a big sports-loving family so when I watched Alicia Sacrimony tonight on the Olympics, I actually thought I could feel at least part of the explosive pain she was suffering. Sports has brought our family some of its highest highs and some real lows. Now before you start judging us for filling our lives with such trivialities, remember that basketball has paid for college for at least 2 family members and continues to add to some of our livelihoods in different ways, coaching, skills classes, etc.

I couldn't help but wonder tonight which gymnast would, or team of gymnasts, would actually learn the most--would winning the gold be the great teacher or would the silver medalists (the second best in the world but by most thinkings--the loser) actually learn more to take them successfully through life with the adversity they suffered? What is your judgment? What do you think?

The one thing I do know is this: In the valley of disappointment, suffering, defeat, discouragement, depression, is where I have grown the most in my Christian walk. It is when I have had to surrender everything, yes, my precious stubborn will, that God has brought me the furtherest and grown me up the most. But how glad I am for the scripture in 1 Samuel that speaks about man looking upon the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. That means to me that if everyone in the world misunderstands my motives, God sees, He knows my heart, he knows when I am totally misunderstood or misjudged and that is enough for me. He also knows when my motives are wrong and accepts me with totally loving arms when I come to Him in sincere humility and repentance.

The Bible also says, "If God be for us, WHO can be against us? (capitalization mine) Are you discouraged today? Be encouraged by the great God of our universe! And don't forget to pray for Alicia Sacrimony--that her burdened will be shared and lightened but that she will learn lessons to help her during her next "rotations,"--college, most likely marriage and child-bearing, career choices, and the greatest choice of all--will I serve the one true and living God?

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15