When faced with the prospect of preaching to people who refuse to respond in a nation that refuses to change, Isaiah asks the Lord, “How long?” (Isaiah 6:11). Daniel asks the same question toward the end of the 70-years of exile, “Lord, how long?” (Daniel 8:13). The souls under the altar in John’s end time vision repeat the same question, “How long, Sovereign Lord?” (Revelation 6:10)
Surrounded by the problems of this world, confronted daily by the mystery of evil, a powerless spectator as sin and Satan and death and violence and disease seemingly have their way, we’re left to ask the same question.
I don’t know. Nobody knows.
However, you can be certain of this: the darkness of whatever present circumstance you’re enduring cannot adequately hide the glimmer of hope in the promises of our all-powerful and all-loving God.
Our Father is compassionate and gracious. slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. He will turn our mourning into dancing. He will remove our sackcloth and clothe us with joy. He will shine light into darkness. And he will bring life out of death.
Trust him. Seriously. It’s what he does.
There are 72 hot summer days left until the Cowboys kick off their 2009 season. And in our countdown of the second-best players in Cowboys history by jersey number, today we honor offensive lineman Tony Liscio.
Liscio came out of Tulsa in 1963 and played eight full seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, mainly as a backup offensive tackle behind Ralph Neely and Forrest Gregg. In fact, 1966 was the only season Liscio started all 14 games. The Cowboys lost the NFL title in the Ice Bowl in Green Bay the following season and came up three-points shy in Super Bowl V in 1970. It was during the off-season between ’70 and ’71 that the Cowboys traded Liscio to San Diego for Lance Alworth, the move that brought “Bambi” to Dallas for his final two years.
But Liscio never played a down for the Chargers. He strained both hamstrings in stretching drills at the San Diego training camp and they shipped him to Miami. But his back was killing him, he was limping and in constant pain, so he just retired.
Until halfway through the ’71 season.
In the middle of November, the Cowboys were desperate for help at left tackle. Ralph Neely had broken his leg in a motorcycle accident. Don Talbert had broken his foot. And Forrest Gregg was too old to carry the load. So Tom Landry called Liscio on Monday November 15. He was at the Cowboys practice on Wednesday. His right leg was heavily taped from his ankle to his hip. Both shoulders were aching. His right knee hurt. But he was the starter against the Redskins that Sunday, a 13-0 win over Washington that gave Dallas the division championship.
(By the way, Liscio was wearing #64 during this “comeback” because Talbert had been given #72 after the trade.)
Liscio didn’t allow a single sack during his eight starts in the last half of that season and post-season of 1971. In fact, the Cowboys never lost another game that year, running the table to go on to capture their first NFL championship, routing the Dolphins in Super Bowl VI. Lance Alworth actually scored the first points in that Super Bowl, a quick toss to the left side. Liscio’s side. Cool.