Grandma's Gift

As a ninth grader, Dave was the smallest kid in his high school. But at five feet tall and ninety pounds, he was the perfect candidate for the lightest weight class on the school’s wrestling team.

Dave started out as the JV lightweight, but moved up to the varsity position when the boy at the spot moved away.

Unfortunately, Dave’s first year was not one for the record books. Of the six varsity matches he wrestled, he was pinned six times.

Unfortunately, Dave’s first year was not one for the record books. Of the six varsity matches he wrestled, he was pinned six times. Dave had a dream of someday being a good enough wrestler to receive his athlete’s letter. An athlete’s letter is a cloth emblem with the school’s initials on it, which is awarded to those athletes who demonstrate exceptional performance in their sports. Those who were fortunate enough to receive a letter proudly wore it on their school letterman jackets.

Whenever Dave shared his dream of "lettering" in wrestling, most of his teammates and friends just laughed. Those who did offer encouragement to Dave usually said something like, "Well, it’s not whether you win or lose…" or "It’s not really important whether you letter or not…" Even so, Dave was determined to work hard and keep improving as a wrestler.

Every day after school, Dave was in the weight room trying to build up his strength, or running the stadium bleachers trying to increase his endurance, or in the wrestling room trying to improve his technique.

The one person who continually believed in Dave was his grandmother. Every time she saw him, she reminded him of what could be done through prayer and hard work. She told him to keep focused on his goal. Over and over again, she quoted Scripture verses to him, like "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!" (Philippians 4:13).

The day before the next season began, Dave’s grandmother passed away. He was heartbroken. If he ever did reach his goal of someday getting a high school letter, his grandmother would never know.

That season Dave’s opponents faced a new person. What they expected was an easy victory.. What they got instead was a ferocious battle. Dave won nine of his ten matches that year.

Midway through the season, Dave’s coach called him to his office to inform him that he would be receiving his high school letter. Dave was ecstatic. The only thing that could have made him feel better was to be able to share it with his grandmother. If she only knew!

Just then the coach smiled as he presented Dave with an envelope. The envelop had Dave’s name written on it in his grandmother’s handwriting. He opened it and read:

Dear Dave,

I knew you could do it! I set aside $100 to buy you a school jacket to put your letter on. I hope you’ll wear it proudly, and remember, "You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!"


After Dave finished reading the letter, his coach reached behind him and pulled out a brand new jacket with the school letter attached and Dave’s name embroidered on the front. Dave realized then that his grandmother did know after all.

Christ does give us the strength to achieve great things, and sometimes the power of Christ comes to us through other people. Dave was motivated to work hard because of the encouragement he received from his grandmother. His grandmother was, in a very real sense, the power of Christ working in his life. Likewise, when we encourage and support one another, we are allowing Christ to work through us in a powerful way.

Are you an encouraging person? Too often we are like Dave’s friends and teammates. We cut each other down and discourage each other so much that we lose heart. But when we have even one person who believes in us, we find the strength to work hard and reach our potential.

One person who never stops believing in us is God. Others may put us down, but our heavenly Father believes in us so much that he gave his Son to die for us.

Share this article:  

This website and all its contents are copyrighted unless otherwise specifically indicated.
Copyright © 1993-2024 Patrick Khoo. All rights reserved.
Key technologies used: Anchor CMS, jQuery, Melody CSS, IcoMoon and DeepWave Theme