Recreational and professional golfers alike, end up in it.
It can be a place of intimidation or immortality.
Some of the most memorable victories in the PGA or LPGA are of pros who made improbable shots out of the rough.
In golf, championships are won not by avoiding getting into the rough but by successfully getting out.
Life is much the same way.
Life’s UnFair Way
To be in the rough is to be off the fairway. The rough feels unfair, frustrating, discouraging, and stands in the way of success.
All too often, life resembles golf: our lives end up “in the rough” and we face the improbable task of getting out.
There is a chapter in the Bible – Hebrews 11 – that profiles people who ended up “in the rough.”
Some of their accomplishments are characterized as those “who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.”
This is the kind of stuff we think of when we think of “men and women of faith.”
Then you read verse 35b.
There is a different tone to 35b.
“There were others…”
“They were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.”
Talk about being “in the rough.”
“The others” experienced a different result to their faith.
The others’ lives are not the stuff that dreams are made of.
However, the others’ lives were no less a result of a life well lived by faith.
The Nameless Ones
Names are used in the first half of Hebrews 11 – Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David. When it gets to “the others” they are nameless.
Perhaps they are nameless because there were so many of them.
You may feel like you could add your name to those nameless others.
You may feel that life hasn’t been fair recently…that you’ve landed in the rough…and you’re having a hard time getting out.
Not Plan “B”
Verse 35b is not God’s “plan B” when things go wrong.
Just like being in the rough is no surprise to a pro golfer, being in the rough is no surprise to God.
Don’t be intimidated…and don’t give up (or throw away your clubs!)
1. God will give you grace – “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8
2. Choose your club well…take a hold of hope. “Hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts…” Romans 5:5
3. Make the necessary adjustments to your approach. “Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up (and out) in due time. Cast all your care upon him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
4. Swing away!
APPLICATION: When were you last in “the rough?” Please leave a comment below.
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