The refurbished stadium was state of the art. The field was made of synthetic turf. The three story field house was equipped with a large weight room and an indoor practice field. There was a video scoreboard to show replays of anything you missed. And the track around the field had one of those cushiony kinds of surfaces that made it easy on your knees.
On one of my visits to the track I noticed a few places where tiny sprigs of grass had poked their way through to sunlight. Despite the best efforts of the people who constructed the track and the several layers of material that composed it, there they were. I guess you could say the grass was defiant, but I think the word “inspiring” offers us a better vantage point. Next to this field full of fake grass were a few stubborn tufts of the genuine thing. They refused to be intimidated by the difficult circumstances that surrounded them. They held their ground and pushed their way through.
They tried to bury Jesus with several layers of opposition. Initially, it was the religious establishment which opposed Him. Then the governmental authorities were brought in to throw their weight around. Finally, the masses were incited to seek His crucifixion.
And when the deed that blackened the sun was over, they threw a few more shovelfuls on Him. A stone was rolled across His tomb. A seal was placed over the stone. Soldiers were stationed to guard over it all. Everything that could be done was done to make sure the itinerant preacher from the small village was never heard from again.
But He was.
He couldn’t be stopped by the guards, the seal, or the stone. He could not be silenced by the religious establishment, the government, or the people. Two thousand years later those things are but a distant memory while He remains a constant and powerful presence.
Who would have thought it possible then? Only God. Who thinks it possible today? Only those who believe in God. For we know that He has always had a knack for taking what others deem as nothing and making something out of it. With the sling and the stones of a small boy with a large faith, the giant, Goliath, was brought down. An eighty year old shepherd with a speech impediment led a nation out of captivity. Thousands were fed with a boy’s two fish and five loaves. All of these were sprigs of grass that somehow pushed their way through layers of opposition to find daylight.
I think that’s what our Father would like us to see today. That wherever we are, whatever we struggle against, we can (by His strength), hold our ground. We can push through to daylight. Listen to the sprig of grass as it preaches its message. Listen to God as He tells us, “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Are we listening?