White Wristbands

Brock Kelley was hurrying to get ready for football practice. He had to make sure he had everything. Pads, cleats, practice jersey, helmet...where were his wristbands? He started digging through his locker. There they were. He quickly scooped them up and headed for practice.

He got to the locker room, but it was empty. Glancing up at the clock he realized that he had misjudged the time and was actually early. He looked down at the white wristbands that were still clutched in his hand. Then Brock noticed that he had accidentally grabbed a Sharpie marker with the wristbands. He just shrugged and set them down next to him as he sat down on the bench. Just staring down at his hands, Brock started to think about something that had happened earlier that day...

"I wonder what's for lunch?" Matt Prater said as he and Brock walked down the halls to the cafeteria.

"I don't know but there better be a lot of it!" Brock answered. "I'm starving!"

"Giving actual effort in football and school makes you pretty hungry, doesn't it?" Matt joked.

Brock smiled. "Sure does!" Suddenly his smile faded. "Ah man!"

"What?"

"I left my lunch money in my locker!" Brock groaned.

"Want me to get it?" Matt offered. "I run faster than you anyways!"

"Hey!" Brock punched his friend on the arm jokingly. "Which of us here did the death crawl?"

The two friends laughed.

"I'll get it, it's fine. I'll see ya in the cafeteria, Matt."

"K man."

Brock started down the now empty halls of Shiloh Christian Academy, headed toward his locker. He had just turned the corner past the teacher's lounge when he saw that one old guy.

What was his name? Oh yeah, Mr. Bridges.

Mr. Bridges was walking slowly down the hallway, gently touching each locker, gold-leaf Bible in his left hand. He was coming towards where Brock was standing. Suddenly he looked up and straight at Brock.

"Hello."

"Uh, hi."

"I've been praying for you, Brock Kelley."

This simple, straightforward statement from Mr. Bridges was so sudden and unexpected that it caught Brock off guard. What should he say? 'Thanks'? 'I appreciate it'? What he did say was completely different.

"Why?" he blurted. He immediately felt embarrassed, but Mr. Bridges was just standing there patiently, like he was waiting for Brock to say more. So Brock did.

"Why do you always pray for the kids in this school? Why do you care so much about all of us? What do we matter to you?"

Mr. Bridges looked at him steadily with kind eyes. "Well, Brock, many years ago I felt a burden for Christian youth. God laid it on my heart to come pray at this school and I've continued to do it. I've come to love and care for each student here. You see, I know that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. I pray that each of you will develop a strong relationship with God now, so that you will stay true to Him throughout your lives."

Brock nodded slowly. "So, uh, why pray for me specifically?"

"God laid you on my heart today," Mr. Bridges answered with a sincere smile. "I've watched you, Brock Kelley. God has blessed you with leadership. You influence these kids, both the boys on the football team and normal students. Your leadership is a gift, but I know it can be hard and stressful."

"But still, there are so many kids in this school who need prayer."

"Well, you're one of them, aren't you?"

Brock was quiet for a few seconds, then he sighed. "It has been pretty hard lately," he admitted. "I mean, with football practice and trying to get my grades up, I just feel so tired sometimes, like I'm just gonna pass out or something. Like I won't be able to keep going."

"I have a verse I'd like you to read, Brock," Mr. Bridges answered. "When you have time I want you to read Isaiah 40:31. You just make God your strength. A man's gotta endure to the end, even when it's hard. You make sure you're relying on God."

Without another word Mr. Bridges started walking again, while Brock just stared after him...

Isaiah 40:31. Brock started digging through his bag until he found his blue Bible with silver letters spelling his name on the front. He quickly opened it and flipped to the book of Isaiah, then found chapter 40. He started running his finger down the page until he found verse 31.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Brock read it over several times, thinking about each word. Was it that simple? Could God give him strength like that? But he knew that the answer to both of his questions was 'yes.' He read the verse one more time.

He wanted some way to remember this verse. Trying to get ideas, Brock started to look around. Then he noticed the Sharpie laying on top of his white wristbands. He quickly grabbed it and the wristbands. On the first one he wrote "They shall mount up with wings like eagles", and on the second he wrote "They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

Brock looked over his scrawled writing and smiled. Then he heard the other guys coming to the locker room for practice and he stated gearing up. For a brief second he paused.

Lord, he silently prayed, please help me wait on you. Give me the strength I need to rise up, to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint. Help me, and give me the strength to always give you my very best. Amen.

A/N- This fanfiction makes more sense if you read the Facing the Giants book, because the wristbands are actually mentioned in it and there's more about them. But I hope you'll enjoy it even if you haven't read the book, then go get the book to read. :)