Bill and I watched the University of Wisconsin basketball team yesterday soundly defeat the Northwestern Wildcats (make that the Scaredy-cats). Were the Wisconsin players that much better? Obviously they made more baskets, but the victory was in the HOW they did it. Wisconsin missed the basket a lot. So did Northwestern. The difference came in the rebounds. Wisconsin caught the rebounds nearly EVERY time, whether their team’s botched shot or their opponent’s. It appeared that Northwestern was shooting, missing and then drawing back, (“Oh well, missed again”), and just politely handing the ball to Wisconsin. At one point, Wisconsin shot and missed THREE times in a row, each time recovering the rebound, snatching it out of thin air from their opponents, and then finally sinking it in.
We all miss baskets in life, all of us. The significant difference is what we do with the rebounds.
I have been reading about Joseph in Genesis. He was handed hardship after hardship, injustices building up one after another. And he rebounded each time. Not on his own strength, he would tell you to your face, but on God’s, even in the face of constant adversity. It was not Joseph’s situation that made him great, but his RESPONSE, his vertical perspective, letting God use him and giving Him the glory. (“It is not in me, but God…” Genesis 41.16)
The ball doesn’t always go in the net as we desire. As with Joseph, God has bigger plans. Rebound with excellence in everything you do. And let God give the victory.
But the LORD was with Joseph
and showed him steadfast love,
and gave him favor in the sight
of the keeper of the prison.
…the LORD was with him,
and whatever he did,
the LORD made it prosper.
Genesis 39. 21,23