We walked up to the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass only to find a long wait. It was Brewer’s first college golf tournament and he had to wait for what seemed like an eternity to play that hole. You see, this hole is deemed one of the hardest holes in all of golf. Any time you watch the PGA championship on TV you will probably see the professionals struggle on this very hole. These are the players who make golf look easy for the ordinary person so you can quickly see how hard, challenging and downright “frightening” this hole can be for any golfer.
Being a golfing mom, but not at all a player, I have traveled the country with our children and spectated hundreds of rounds of golf. The one thing I can tell you is that most golfers hate to move to the next hole and have to wait, especially when it is a long wait. Most golfers get into a groove while they are playing and waiting can throw off that groove.
There is also a time factor in golf. You are not allowed to take too long on any given hole. Sometimes, in competition, a group of golfers are “put on the clock” meaning they are taking too long. They are given a warning and given a chance to speed up and catch up. If they don’t catch up, the whole group could be assessed a penalty–given a stroke to add to their score! There are many reasons for encountering slow play, but the worst is when you are backed up on a hole because it is soooo hard. Then you have to stand there and watch the golfers in front of you “struggle before you have to encounter the same challenge!”
When Brewer played 17 at Sawgrass, we watched many golfers in front of him dunk their first and second ball in the water before hitting the green. Brewer had the same struggle. Thankfully, the next day, he had more success on that hole. But I will never forget that hole and watching how punishing it was for kids who had played a great round of golf….and then get to 17 and have it go down the toilet….on that hole. Several years ago I watch the PGA player, Sergio Garcia, among others, dunk 2 in the water before landing on the green. I hate that hole! Some love it…but I hate it! 🙂
The delays in golf, especially caused by the difficulty of a hole, parallel life. How many times do we experience “delays” in life because of the challenges we face? Maybe the challenge that caused the delay results from an unexpected diagnosis from a doctor’s appointment? Or lost job? A failed test or class? A BFF is unavailable when you need them the most? A spouse who walks out? Being falsely accused? A business partner who bails? You fill in the blank with your challenge/delay. The most important thing, when faced with life’s delays…challenges, is “What you do next, matters most!”
Challenges/delays in life are inevitable. Being defeated is optional. So thankful for God’s Word. We can study the lives of multiple people in Scripture and learn so much that we can apply to our lives and we can also learn much about God’s character. Look at Abraham. He waited 25 years for his promised son. Joseph spent 13 years between the pit and the palace…which included ultimate betrayal by family and false accusations and chains.
Moses was in the desert for 40 years. David was an afterthought of his father’s as someone who might be fit to be a king. Then when he was anointed, to his father’s and brothers’ surprise, it was 25 years before he became king. There were “many giants” for him to defeat, not just Goliath, before he wore the crown. God’s delays are not His denials, but often we have the “drive-thru” mentality when it comes to God and His anointing on our lives.
When we read the Psalms, like Psalm 13, we see that doubt goes along with growing our faith. Look what David wrote in Psalm 13. “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”
David poured out his heart and thoughts to God. That is the key, for us to seek God in our delays. Tell Him our doubts, our fears and put them in His hands. We can look in the book of Mark chapter 9 to find a man who did just that. He brought his sick son to Jesus…and he told Jesus, “I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!”
So, point of post? We all experience delays and challenges. Sometimes we don’t even see “that challenge hole” in front of us. We all experience “doubt”. Go to God with your doubt allow Him to grow your faith in your doubt and delays.
Remember, what you do next after your delay is the most important thing. The next step? LET IT BE turning to JESUS.