A few weeks ago, at the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, Tiger Woods came from behind to win his 15th career major win and his 81st tournament win. In every category he is now second: second most Masters wins (5); second most U.S. Open wins (3); 2nd most British Open wins (3); second most PGA wins (4); second most total major wins (15); and second most wins on the PGA tour (81).
There was a time when it was all but written in the history books that Tiger would shatter every one of those records. Then November 2009 happened––and, first, Tiger’s personal world imploded when his wife learned of his marital unfaithfulness, and then his professional career plummeted.
Confidence and health both seemed to abandon him. Knee, neck, Achilles, and back issues would plague him for the next ten years. Though many hoped he would turn his life around and get his game back on track, there were some who thought these problems were “just desserts” for his indiscretions, and even others who hoped he would suffer for his sins in perpetuity.
As the years wore on, even the sports “talking heads” were beginning to give up on him, and they turned to discussing what could have been. There was probably a time when only Tiger himself believed he could still right the ship: that he could sort out his personal life, overcome his medical issues, and reassemble his game. And I imagine even he had his doubts at times.
The 2019 Masters was a statement to the world. Eleven years after his last major win, and fourteen after his last Masters, Tiger was once again a winner, and now the sports pundits are counting the years until he breaks all the records.
There are probably times when we give up on others or others give up on us. Too many mistakes; too many missed chances; too many years under our belt; too many… too many…
But we need to remember that God never gives up on us, so we need to never give up either. In the whisper of a confession, God can bring us back to spiritual wholeness, and in the submission of our lives, he will direct us toward his ultimate purpose for us. We are never washed up or written off.
If you would like to be further inspired, check out Mike Lindell’s story (founder of MyPillow) and listen to Danny Gokey’s “Comeback.”