There is play in football called, “The Hail Mary.” It’s a play of a last resort, one of desperation when there seems to be very little chance of winning the game. It goes all the way back to a 1922 game between Notre Dame and Georgia Tech in which Notre Dame would say a Hail Mary prayer between each play. Later, in 1935, with 32 seconds left in the so-called “Game of the Century” between Ohio State and Notre Dame, there was a pass that scored the game-winning touchdown. Notre Dame head coach Elmer Layden afterwards called it a “Hail Mary” play. The phrase has worked its way into our language and, I believe, describes much of our faith in Jesus.
We go about living our lives, trying our best because we have it in our minds that “God helps those who help themselves.” We think, “I need to do all of this work first; I need to put all of my force into this project first and when it starts to fail, when I can’t go anymore, then I will turn to Jesus.” We strain, we grunt, and we groan. And then, then we cry out to Jesus. “Why oh why is this not working!”
We end up using Jesus as a last resort.
But Jesus doesn’t ever desire to be your last resort. He desires you to hold him as first above all else. He desires for you to come to him before you begin. He desires you to come to him during and after. There is nothing outside of him.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17
Oh that we would bring all of cares and all of our worries to Jesus in the first place not the last place.
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