Wednesday, February 25, 2015


A while ago I mentioned that my dad would be contributing to our blog. Below is his first post. I hope you are all as blessed as I am by his words. Beth Kropf


My wife works part-time as a home health-care worker.  That means she gives assistance to people with physical or mental disabilities, taking them to run errands or helping around the house with chores.  One of her clients is a delightful man in his forties named Joe, who, in spite of some physical handicaps coaches a Special Olympics basketball team of developmentally disabled young adults.  A few months ago Joe invited my wife to come and watch one of their games.  "Bring your husband and son too if they'd like to come."   So the next time they had a game in town, we showed up- my wife, myself, and our 24-year-old son Ryan.  It was an amazing experience.  These people have range of disabilities- including Down's Syndrome- but what they had in common was the JOY of playing basketball.  And what skill they showed!  But even more surprising and heart-warming was the level of camaraderie they showed.  They cheered as much for a teammate's goal as for their own, with whoops and dances up and down the court.

In this particular game, they were outmatched by their opponents, and losing badly.  I found myself praying, "Lord, if they can't win, can you help the score be less lop-sided?"  It was an earnest prayer.  And I got a clear response:  "They don't need to win."  Then a moment later:
        "You're not here for them.  They're here for you."
I had to stop and think about that.  Okay, what did I need to learn?  What did this group of developmentally disabled kids have to teach me?   "What is it You want me to see, Lord?"   And He said,
     "They are not focused on their limitations."
That stunned me.  Of course.  They were experiencing joy in every moment.  They celebrated every victory, every point scored.  It was all they were focused on.  They were unaware of their limitations-- only what they were doing.

How often do I focus on my problems, my limitations, instead of the JOY the Father wants me to experience in what He has already given me?  It is so easy for me to focus on my failures, my shortcomings, the roadblocks to what I want to achieve, rather than the possibilities that God may have for me.   Bill Johnson says, "Sometimes our breakthroughs begin when we refuse to be impressed with the size of our problems."   (Experiencing  the Impossible, p.115)
I can focus on my problems-  which seem pretty impressive to me-- and my own limitations, or I can focus on the God who said, 
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you by my righteous right hand,"   (Isaiah 41:10)

Pastor Rick