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The story is told of a ten-year-old boy who decided to study judo. The problem was he had been in a car accident and had lost his left arm. So he started the lessons and was doing well but he couldn’t understand why after 3 months of lessons that his coach had only taught him one move.

So he said to him, "Sensei, shouldn’t I be learning more moves?"

The coach replied, "This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you will ever need to know."

The boy didn’t understand but he kept training. Several months later the coach took the boy to his first tournament. To his surprise, he won the first two matches. The third match was more difficult, but eventually his opponent got impatient and charged him, and when he did the boy used his one move and he won the match.

Now he was in the finals. His opponent was bigger, stronger, more experienced. For a few moments he seemed to be outmatched. His opponent was hitting hard. The referee was afraid the boy might get hurt, so he called a time-out. His coach stepped in and said to let him continue. In a few moments after they started back his opponent made a critical mistake; he dropped his guard and the boy used his one move to pin him down. So the boy was declared the champion.

On the way home the boy and his coach reviewed every move in each of the matches. Then the boy got up enough courage to ask his coach, "How did I win the tournament with just one move?"

He said "Well, you won for two reasons: (1) You mastered one of the most difficult moves in all of Judo. (2) The only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."

His biggest weakness had become his greatest strength. This will only happen when you learn to sink your roots deep. The reason so many believers lose the battle when they face trials is that they have a shallow root system. Paul prayed that the church in Ephesus would be rooted and established in love. A shallow believer cannot survive when trials come and trials will come. You need to plow the soil. You need to put down roots.

(From a sermon by David Henderson, "Dig Deep," 4/12/2011)

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