Have you ever felt you were doing the death crawl? I know that I have – it's when you've exhausted every fiber of your being, loss hope, and want to quit. Do you ever feel that you are at your absolute limits? That your trials are getting heavier and heavier with every weight or trial added to you?
I watched a movie recently that illustrates how much we can endure titled “Facing the Giants”. This Christian movie is about an American football coach who goes through some hard times – both personally and professionally – and then decides to hand it all over to God.
The scene that impacted me the most was the death crawl scene. The team had been losing and they knew nothing would change. Coach Taylor noticed their losing attitude and especially in the team captain Brock. Taylor decided to make Brock do the death crawl.
To do the death crawl the person must carry a player on his back while moving forward on his hands and feet. The person with the heavy load cannot allow his knees to touch the ground. Coach Taylor took this exercise one step further and blindfolded Brock so he could not see how far he had to go, become overwhelmed, and give up.
As blindfolded, Brock, took each step it became even harder and the load became even heavier. Sound familiar with your trials? The coach sensing Brock wanting to quit, get's down on his hands and knees, and continually yells out “don't quit”! “You can do this”! “Ten more steps Brock!” “Five more steps”! “Don't quit Brock!” “You can do this;” Coach Taylor continued to yell out! When Brock could no longer go, he collapsed with the 160 pound team mate on his back! When Brock looked up Coach Taylor told him he had just done the death crawl 100 yards! The coach only asked him to go 50 yards but knew he could do more!
So what does football and the death crawl have to do with the trials we have to carry! A lot! God knows that you have a lot more endurance in you than you think. Just like Coach Taylor's belief in Brock.
1. Don't Quit! You cannot win if you quit.
No matter how hard, no matter how hopeless we cannot quit! The poem “Don't Quit ,” sends out a huge message to not quit, even when everything seems all uphill, like doing a death crawl.
2. We need encouragement while doing the death crawl.
Ask for encouragement when your load is so heavy and you can't go any further. What got Brock through this death crawl was his coach's encouragement. We all need a cheerleader to encourage us along the way. Ask God for encouragement. God is our biggest cheerleader. God is nearer to us when we hurt, and when we are suffering.
Psalms 34:18 Psalms 34:18The LORD is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit.
American King James Version×- “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalms 46:1-2 Psalms 46:1-2 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea;
American King James Version×-“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
Psalms 48:14 Psalms 48:14For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even to death.
American King James Version×- “For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”
Psalms 55:22 Psalms 55:22Cast your burden on the LORD, and he shall sustain you: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
American King James Version×- “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”
We also must be willing to trust our friends and family to carry us when we need it.
3. Be willing to carry your brother or sister on your back while they struggle through their trials.
The death crawl is also an example of someone carrying someone else on their back as Brock did with the 160 pound teammate on his back. Do all you can to help those who are going through horrific trials. Encourage them as coach Taylor did to Brock. You may even have to carry them for awhile by listening, praying for them and just being there. We are encouraged in Galatians 6:2 Galatians 6:2Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
American King James Version×“Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”
The losing underdog team, in “Facing the Giants”, went on to become champions because they did not quit when it seemed so hopeless. Remember Isaiah 40:28-31 Isaiah 40:28-31 28 Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
American King James Version×- “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
You too will be a champion if you just keep going, especially while you doing the death crawl. Don't forget your source of help.