Terry and I attended the peewee level of the Kentucky State Wrestling Tournament recently. Our grandson, Zaven, competed in it. Although he had been involved in wrestling for the past couple of years, it was the first time that we had had opportunity to see him in action.
It has been several years since the two of us had been to a peewee wrestling tournament. We had all of our boys to wrestle back in the day. But, nothing had changed. It was loud and on the verge of chaotic. The parents and coaches were just as competitive off the mats as the kids were on the mats. Honestly, it felt good to be back in that type of venue.
I think what made the difference for Zaven during his matches was the power he got from Paw, which is what I am to him. Paw Power, I call it. He got Paw Power from my presence. He got Paw Power from my words of encouragement. He got Paw Power from my attention. At least, that is what I like to think, anyway.
I initially thought I would stay out of Keithen’s way in dealing with his son before and during the matches. So, during Zaven’s first match, I stepped to the background along the railing surrounding the fourteen mats each filled with matches.
But, in my estimation, Keithen was too laid back during Zaven’s first match to suit me. I made up my mind to be more vocal and encouraging like I used to be at times during the day when Keithen and his brothers wrestled. I think that “Paw Power” made a difference during the course of the day as Zaven did rather well. He wrestled with apparent zeal and enthusiasm.
I am biting my tongue to talk about how well he did, for I am a proud Paw. You know what it is like with yours. But, the Lord has impressed me with a more needful message for today as I contemplate the spiritual vision given amid the din of the competitions.
The Bible mentions wrestling events. The first involved the patriarch Jacob, who, on his way home with family and possessions, got to wrestling with an angel of the Lord at the ford Jabbok. “And Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” Jacob won, but got injured, according to the Biblical account.
Then, the Apostle Paul says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Both accounts suggest that there are certain spiritual situations we have to struggle through from time to time. That is clear enough. Jacob struggled with the angel to get a blessing. We struggle with the things of the devil in many ways.
But, there is something very special that comes from the spiritual wrestling matches we go through. It is the experience of God’s power, which is a very real matter to consider.
For example, when we wrestle with troubles, testings, trials, or tribulations, God’s power is manifested in His presence. How enabling it is to know that the Lord is with us in the Person of the Holy Spirit, who is our Comforter. When we struggle with difficulties, God’s power is manifested in His encouragement. Note all of the encouragements revealed in His Holy Word. When we put it on the line as a committed Christian, God’s power is manifested in His presence. He is sitting in the stands watching and willing and cheering us to victory (remember how good it felt to know that yours parents came to watch you compete or present or perform?).
There is something very real about God’s power that gives us the spiritual stamina to keep on keeping on. There is something very real about God’s power that keeps us looking forward to the day when, in so many terms, the Lord lifts our hand to signify completed victory.
As we prepared to leave the arena, I told Keithen, “I bet I know why Zaven did so well today.” He replied, “Probably because you were here.” I chuckled at his response. Maybe there really is something about “Paw Power.”
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and ministers in the local area.