Protecting the Pocket

David Carr has all the qualities of a star quarterback. In his 4 th year in the NFL, Carr is the starting quarterback for the Houstan Texans. He is tall and athletic. He stands 6'-3”, 223 pounds. The Texans have confidence in him as their future star and just granted him a seven year contract worth over 20 million dollars. What's more, he has a star running back behind him in Domanick Davis and a star receiver in the making in Andre Johnson. Usually when you have this kind of talent at the quarterback, running back and wide receiver position you have the makings of a Super Bowl Champion. Superstar “triplets” at those three positions are what football dynasties are built upon.

In the early 1990's the Cowboys dominated teams and won multiple Super Bowls with star trio Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. Later in the 1990's the 49ers won Super Bowls with their 3 stars: Steve Young, Jerry Rice and Ricky Watters. This year, the Indianapolis Colts are 11-0 with their ‘triplets', Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison.

With all that talent at the ‘triplet' position, you would think the Texans would also be gunning for the Super Bowl. But this year the Texans have struggled. They have the worst record in the NFL and have won only once this season in ten games. Why are the Houston Texans so bad? The answer comes from the offensive line. The Houston Texans simply cannot protect their quarterback.

This year the Houston Texans have already given up 50 quarterback sacks. The next closest team ( Minnesota ) has only given up 31 sacks this season. To put that in perspective, imagine how well you would play the game today after getting into 50 car wrecks in the last 3 months. Each sack has the potential to take a brutal toll on a quarterback's body, not to mention his mental ability to play the game. The reason Texans have struggled all year long is because they are terrible at protecting their quarterback. In contrast, the undefeated Colts have only allowed their quarterback, Peyton Manning, to be sacked 9 times so far. Their success is due in large part of their great offensive line.

Clearly to be a successful quarterback, you need to have good protection from your offensive line. If you get sacked a lot of times, you are bound to lose a lot of games. And so it is with life as well. Fortunately, you've got a Father in heaven who is very interested in protecting you. As your coach, He devises a plan of protection for your life so that you won't get hurt as much as if you tried to do it on your own. Just like in football, if you follow his scheme of protection, you will be able to have the best possible chance of success when life hits you hard from all sides.

Conventional wisdom say that God just wants to spoil everyone's fun. He says “Don't sleep around. Don't get drunk. Don't gossip about others. Don't love money.” People assume that when the Father asks you to be obedient in these areas, it's because He likes to make people miserable. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In all actuality, God wants you to have great sex with your spouse, enjoy a glass of wine, enjoy great conversation with friends, and be thankful for the material things He gives you in this life. But he wants you to have it in the right context so that you are protected from the negative consequences and heartache associated with those things. God's plan as your coach is to protect you from life's bruising ‘quarterback sacks of the heart' that come along as a consequence of sin. In every instance of your life, God has your best interests at heart.

But God doesn't just protect you by giving you guidelines for your actions. He also says that you'll always be able to overcome even the worst temptation and stresses. First Corinthians chapter 10 says, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. - 1 Corinthians 10:12-14

Isn't it nice to know that God won't ever give you more than you can handle? That is very reassuring promise from God's word. If life is coming at you from all directions, and if you've been taking a lot of hits lately…. Remember that God has already devised a perfect scheme of protection for you, to keep you from falling under difficult circumstances. That is the sort of protection that David Carr can only dream about.

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