The good news for the Miami Heat is … it’s only December.
The Heat were dismantled last night by the New York Knicks behind 18-for-44 shooting from the 3-point line from the visiting Knicks. Let me correct that … from the Carmelo Anthony-less Knicks.
Anthony was sidelined last night with a finger injury on his non-shooting hand. Anthony leads the New York in scoring at over 26 points per game. Bad news for the Knicks, right?
It was obvious that New York would need somebody to step up against the defending NBA champions. That somebody was Raymond Felton. Felton hit 6 of his 10 3-point attempts en route to a season- and game-high 27 points that led the Knicks to a 112-92 win over the champs.
Even though I’m disappointed as a Heat fan, I always respect seeing a role player step up when a superstar can’t perform, especially in professional sports, where it’s normally all about the superstars.
And here at Christmastime, it always reminds me of a dad who stepped up, over two thousand years ago.
Let me share my favorite part of the Christmas story, as recorded by the disciple Matthew:
When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
- Matthew 1:18-21, ESV
We don’t know alot about Joseph, as he is mentioned very seldom in the Gospels, but we can infer quite a bit about what Matthew tells us. We can assume he is a decent fellow, not wanting to put Mary through the shame that would await an unwed mother in ancient Israel. We also know that he was obedient, that he trusted the Lord, even though he was undoubtedly afraid of what my lie ahead.
We don’t know what kind of dad Joseph was, but I’m betting that if he was chosen by God before time began to be the adoptive father of the Savior, he had some skills. Whatever his character, Joseph stepped up.
Dads, we step up for our family all the time. This holiday season, I want to encourage you to keep stepping up. Or, if you feel like you haven’t done so, it’s never to late to begin. Today.
Keep looking for ways you can step up as a dad, not only for your family, but for some kids in your life who don’t have dad around. I know these families, you probably do too. Ask God to show you how you can love, coach, and model for kids who suffer father-abscence. He will give you the opportunity to step up.
Raymond Felton did it when his team counted on him. Joseph did it when his Heavenly Father counted on him. You can do it too, dad. Your family is counting on you.