January 2019   
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With September, comes Football.  All our high schools are playing on Friday nites, our college teams on Saturdays and the pro teams playing on Sundays.  This time of season always brings me back to when I was in high school.  After my first Friday of my first season and a first team player, I learned that I was too nervous to eat before a game.  I developed “butterfies” in my stomach at the end of the school day and they stayed until the opening kickoff.  Once Mom realized that I could not eat before a game, she started doing something that made me the envy of the entire team… she cooked me a huge lunch.  I was allowed to drive her car to school and drive home where she would almost always have a big steak cooked just for me.  Being raised in Catholic country, the other guys ate fish sticks at school.  I never ran out of energy in a game, and was always welcomed home as a victor (whether we won or lost) and given another big meal.  My mom did this for me, because she loved me and was willing to sacrifice her time to help her son.  Mom owned her own business so it cost her time and money to have someone take her place at her fabric shop (which she still runs), but it paid benefits in the love, respect and pride I had for such a wonderful mom.

God is just like that.  He knows our weaknesses, but He doesn’t scold us and tell us “tough luck buddy”, He also gives us the time, expense and love to minister to our needs.  He has even had to quiet my “butterflies” a few times in ministry, and He has never shamed me… He has only loved me.  It may be that you too have a weakness of the flesh that keeps you from being victorious in you everyday struggles, He knows already and only asks that you call on Him and He will be a very present help in times of trouble.  I have thanked God many times for the mother he gave me and her unconditional love and sacrifice given for me and her other sons.  But oh how much more do I need to thank Him for His love, sacrifice and patience with this His son, Darryl Hoychick.