The Knights of West Coast Christian College played the Sea Lions of UC Santa Cruz in 1982. Both were small basketball teams, but the Knights got even smaller as injuries caused them to suit up only eight players that night.
Despite lengthy playing times for their players, the Knights were winning by 15 points at the fourth quarter. But whether by strategy or serendipity, the Sea Lions found themselves winning the foul game. Four Knights had fouled out, and the team had to play one short with only four men on the court. Then player number five fouled out. Then number six. And finally number seven.
Unbelievably, the Knights only had one player left on the court! NCAA rules allow a one-man team to play if the team is winning or has a chance to win, so junior guard Mike Lockhart represented the team against the full-strength Sea Lions. (Don’t try this at home, kids!)
By in-bounding the ball off his opponents and playing some incredible defense, Lockhart held off the Sea Lions for the last two minutes of the fourth quarter – the longest two minutes of his life. The Sea Lions tried their best to draw a foul against him but only succeeded in giving him five more points from the free-throw line. When the final buzzer sounded, the Knights won 75-67!
There are about half a dozen different ways I could take this, but let me go this direction…
Consider this story a picture of your Christian walk. Most of the time, you’re going to have your Christian “team” right there with you as you take it to the enemy on his court. But one day, it’s likely that some of them are going to get into foul trouble. They will lose their focus long enough that the enemy will lead them into serious sin, and they’ll find themselves sitting the bench as a result.
As much as this will break your heart for your Christian brothers and sisters, don’t forget that there’s still a game to play. Even if you find yourself the sole (soul) defense against the home team, don’t give up! Don’t get distracted by your fouled-up and out teammates. God can still coach you to a win.
Showing some hustle until the end honors your teammates and your Lord. It shows His strength made perfect in your weakness, so it probably won’t be pretty… but it will be glorious!