Robin Gudal: Find hope in the Lord in all things

Published 8:00 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

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EN(dur)ANCE by Robin Gudal

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. — Jeremiah 17:7, NKJ

Robin Gudal

“Overcoming Hopelessness” (Nov. 29, 2018) by Robin McMillian shares: Let me give you an example of the power of hope from contemporary history. Dean Smith coached the University of North Carolina basketball team for 36 years. He once owned the record for the most victories in NCAA history with 879. He was a highly innovative strategic thinker and had a reputation for being loyal to each of his players. He continued to send regular notes and encouragements to many of them years after they played for him. His positive, hope-filled attitude permeated every aspect of his life.

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Smith’s hope was contagious and proved to be the deciding factor in great victories on the court. March 2, 1974, his fourth-ranked Carolina Tar Heels trailed the Duke University Blue Devils by eight points with 17 seconds left in the game. Coach Smith called time out, gathered his players around him, looked them in the eyes, and said, “We’re in great shape. We’ve got them right where we want them. Isn’t this fun!”

With that kind of confidence, Coach Smith sent his players back on the court into a seemingly impossible situation. Carolina picked up two quick points when Bobby Jones hit two foul shots. They scored on a steal and scored again on a turnover of a Duke inbound pass, shortening the gap to two points. After Carolina rebounded on a missed Duke foul shot, Walter Davis hit a last-second 30-foot bank shot to tie the game, sending it into overtime. The Tar Heels claimed a 96–92 overtime victory that day. Carolina’s win is regarded by many as the greatest comeback victory in college basketball history, inspired by Dean Smith’s unshakable hope.

Hope fuels victory in the face of overwhelming odds.

When David (remember he slayed Goliath — the giant with a single stone!) was in a cave this was his plea: I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. (Psalm 142:1, NIV), When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. (verse 3) I just want to make sure we all catch that — it is you (Christ) who watches over me, even when:

• We are living in a worldwide pandemic.

• We may be disheartened with the direction of society, people’s actions, or reactions.

• We have family issues, friend issues, God issues.

• We’ve been hurt, disappointed, disillusioned.

Lest we never forget; he watches over us. “My Hope is Built” (lyrics) When darkness seems, to hide his face, I rest on his unchanging grace, in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil!

Robin (Beckman) Gudal is intentional in life, a wife, momma, nana, friend, a flawed and imperfect follower of Jesus.