When I was a kid there were two play ground games that I absolutely detested. One was dodge ball or aka death ball and the other was Red Rover. The game requires around 10 or more players total and is thought to have originated in Britain and then spread to Australia, Canada and the United States.
Wiki says “Røver is a Norwegian word for “pirate”, so perhaps the early British were showing bravery by daring the Viking raiders to “come over”. The 1829 book titled “The Red Rover: A Tale” by James Fenimore Cooper describes the exploits of a pirate called “Red Rover”
…the game is played between two lines of players, usually around thirty feet apart. Each team lines up along one of these lines, and the game starts when the first team calls out, “Red rover, red rover, send [name of player on opposite team] right over.” or “Red Rover, Red Rover, let [name of player of opposing team] come over.” or “Red rover, red rover, we call [name of player on opposite team] over.”
The immediate goal for the person called is to run to the other line and break the team’s chain (formed by the linking of hands). If the person called fails to break the chain, this player joins the “East” team. However, if the player successfully breaks the chain, this player may select either of the two “links” broken by the successful run, and take them to join the “West” team. The “West” team then calls out “Red rover” for a player on the “East” team, and play continues.
When only one player is left on a team, they also must try to break through a link. If they do not succeed, the opposing team wins. Otherwise, they are able to get a player back for their team.
Obviously, the goal of the game is to exploit the weakest link with brute force. Being a petite and rather skinny child, you can see why I would not excel at this game. However, every blue moon, a tenacious yet small individual could win the day by sheer determination and strength of will.
I was hoping for this yesterday. It was one of those days at work in which I was back on the playground again playing Red Rover and unfortunately, I was the last one standing ready to charge the line for one final attempt to break through. I wish I could say that determination had won the day but it didn’t. I tried. And try as I might, I failed. I hate when that happens but I need not despair. Because…
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalms 73: 26)”.
Moreover, Christ warned us that in this world there would be trouble when fighting the good fight (John 16: 33) and we would be afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Cor 4: 8-9) because Christ would overcome. The final victory will be His. Most of the saints and martyrs never get a chance to see the victory, this side of heaven. But… it is enough for them to know that it will happen. Christ has told us thus and in this reassurance… we will trust.
Today, if you feel like I did yesterday, remember this….
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and He answered me from his holy hill. Selah (Psalm 2:3-4).
God will always answer! Stand up… strand strong in Him and His might… and know He has overcome.