Using Soccer to Escape Pain
To fill the void in his life, Safal dedicated his energy and time to soccer. As a young boy, he was a natural and played the sport with distinction and great skill. He started off humble, but as he continued to excel, he became arrogant in his soccer pursuits. His love of the sport took priority in his life.
Many young boys respected and looked up to him, but the admiration they showed him did not heal Safal’s aching heart. Depsite his popularity, he felt alone. He didn’t believe in God or the traditional rituals his family practiced. He had never been taught how to love, and though he succeeded in soccer, he was always discouraged and sad.
Faithful Friend Prays for Young Athlete
Among Safal’s best friends was a Christian young man who went to Pastor Jaitra’s church. His name was Balaraj, and he stood faithfully by Safal’s side. He shared the love of Christ with him often and prayed without fail for Safal, even when he rejected the message of hope he shared. Balaraj’s loving heart reflected Jesus, and he continued to pray constantly that Safal would truly understand God’s love.
One day, Balaraj noticed Safal looking especially depressed, so he asked his friend, “What happened to you?”
Safal didn’t reply right away, but later he said, “I am really sad and alone. I have no mother, and my father is a drunkard, so I have no peace in my heart.”
After hearing from Safal, Balaraj called his pastor to pray for him. Pastor Jaitra shared the hope and peace of Jesus with Safal and encouraged him from the Word of God. Pastor Jaitra knew as a young man what it felt like to have no peace, and he was able to share, deep from his heart, that there is hope for the seeking heart.
“Safal, don’t worry,” Pastor Jaitra reassured him. “Jesus loves you and cares for you. We are with you, and we, too, love you.”