Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Bench-Warmer

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." -J.R.R. Tolkein

Have you ever been a bench warmer? Just sitting on the side-lines, the cheerleader of the team. Everyone else is scoring big time, you on the other hand are "whooping" with a towel in your hand. You are the one who knows all the best cheers, the best time to chant them, and  you are deemed the ultimate hi-5 captain. Then it hits you on your way to the locker room after the game... I wasn't used. Maybe next time. 
You attend all of the practices.
You sweat just as much if not more than the other ones who have the natural talent.
You continue to hope, pray, and wish that the coach will just notice you and possibly allow you a few moments to shine.
Yet, next time comes and you are once again the glorified cheer captain with a jersey on...

(Google Images)

Friends, I have a question for you. Do you ever feel as though you are the bench warmer of life? The one who is stuck on the side-lines, whooping and hollering as everyone else goes off to do glorious assignments for our King?

You're not up on stage leading worship, preaching, flying overseas for mission work months on end. You are not leading a ministry, a life group, or even a prayer group. You are not Beth Moore or James Dobson, as one of my friends joked at church. 

Are you feeling a little left out?

I definitely feel that way.  It's like I want to spell it out with rocks on my front lawn "God, Here I Am. Use ME!"

I wonder what my neighbors might think? What is this crazy lady doing? They would possibly shout, "HEY LOOK! The new neighbor is re-arranging the rocks in her yard!! Must be a city girl thing."

Okay, but with all the seriousness I have in my body at the moment, I really feel left out. I see God doing huge works in everyone's life, starting ministries, adopting children, writing books. Yet, I want to be used so bad by God my heart aches and cries a lot. Obviously, I am very impatient, justifiably so since I feel as though time is being wasted and I want to be in this game, not just sitting here shouting out another cheer.

But God is waiting. He places us on the bench for a reason. On the bench you can study the coach, the team, the plan. You have opportunities to learn and know more about the game, because obviously the coach does not think you are quite yet ready.

God wants you to wait on the sidelines to know more and learn more before he will call you to be used by Him.

So, how do we wait? Well, grab hold tightly to this life-changing truth.

1. Rejoice in Hope
2. Patience in Tribulation
3. Constant in Prayer

(Romans 12:12)

While we are waiting we do the small acts, the acts that actually change the world. The acts of blessing others, sharing with those who are in need, practicing hospitality, clinging to what is good, honoring one another above yourselves, devoting our works to one another... serving the Lord

Pass out the towels, cheer on the team, study the plays... serve the coach. 

"John answered, 'Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.'" -Luke 3:11

No more always wishing we were in the game.
No more thinking we are useless on the sidelines.
No more wasting time!

It's time to study, to prepare yourself for God's use by serving him there on the bench!

How can you share with someone who has nothing? 
Do you have a huge home with spare rooms? 
Or, even a small one with space for a few more faces.
Do you have food that goes to waste every month?
Do you have clothes that do not fit yourself or your children anymore?
Do you have a few extra minutes, a few extra dimes?

Play a game with an orphan... or a neighbor.

Do not waste your time on the sidelines... don't just be a glorified cheerleader either. Get up out of that bench, do something that serves the Lord

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