This is a phrase that you often hear used in reference to sports. I remember back to when I was a junior in college and my hockey team (Bethel) was playing in Game 2 of a play-off series against the powerhouse University of St. Thomas. The Tommies had beaten us pretty handily the previous evening and if we lost the game our play-off run would be over. Our back were against the wall that night. We were tired, emotionally drained from being pounded a day earlier, and slapping us in the face with doubt was our school's record against St. Thomas 21-0-1. It wasn't a game many thought we could win.
It was gut check time. Would we throw in the towel and concede defeat? Or would we stand up and fight?
That night our team choose to fight and that game was one of the hardest, intense, emotional games I have ever played in. We gave it everything we had. Our goalie was phenomenal. And after 60 up-and-down, blood and guts, scrap and claw minutes we had defeated St. Thomas for the first time in over 10 years. It was amazing and a memory I will have forever.
Right now I'm facing another gut check. I am needing God to come through in some pretty big ways. I've faced a few employment set-backs and the idea of finding the right job that will provide me with happiness and my family with reliable income is becoming a big weight crushing my spirit. I sometimes feel like I'm back sitting in the locker room feeling stung from the previous game and questioning the odds of winning the next one.
This is a good place to be on Holy Week. Many years ago Jesus had his own gut check in the Garden of Gethsemane when he prayed, wept, begged, and sweated blood in agony about facing the weight of sin and the rejection of his Father on the cross. But Jesus was a fighter and a hero and he faced his challenge with determination and humility and confidence in his Heavenly Father. That is what I must do as well.
I am so grateful that my Savior provided me with the example I need when it is gut check time.