Last night I was watching a middle school football game and the "Random thoughts" started to flow. There on the field and the sidelines were 30 plus players giving it all they had trying to win the game. In the distance, you could see lightning filling the sky and the rain poured down. A few loyal parents spotted the metal stands wishing they would call the game so we could all go home. The scoreboard did not completely reveal the battle that was taking place, since only the other team had a score. The faces of the players, however, showed the anguish as play after play failed to provide needed points. The players slid around on the field, slipped as they tried to get traction, and watched as passes intended for their hands fell short or slipped from their grasp. One player in particular was so frustrated with having to play a position he felt he wasn't good at that he wanted to give up completely. I can relate. We've all been there....feeling like what we were doing wasn't making any difference at all in the "game". Like we're in over our head doing something we AREN'T comfortable with and watching someone else play the "position" we feel is rightfully ours.
That's what got me to thinking...do I really believe what I say I believe? Do I really believe the promise of God that He works ALL things for my good and His glory? If I do, it should make a difference in the way I deal with every situation....even the ones where I feel like life just isn't being fair. For if I do believe this to be true, then I must realize that no matter what is before me, God has allowed me to deal with this for a reason....and it ultimately will be for my good and His glory. I may not like it, but then again, I don't always like exercise and that's good for me. I know that's not nearly the same, but it helps me to put things into context. The question is, can I work willingly and wholeheartedly at whatever I do, as though I was working for the Lord rather than people? (Col. 3:23) It can become my act of worship when I "deal" with unfair or difficult situations by giving my all and doing things with a cheerful attitude - without grumbling and complaining. Okay, I admit, I have trouble with that one too.
As I watched that young man on the sidelines throwing his helmet down in frustration, I wondered how many times have I "pitched a 5 year old fit" because I didn't like my current lot in life? Can I instead learn to look at what is directly in front of me as an opportunity to worship? Can I approach every situation remembering that there is something I can learn from it? Do I truly believe?
I have experienced times in my life when I wasn't so sure of what I believed. Times when I questioned if perhaps God had forgotten me or if maybe He had "missed it" this time. Yes, I admit it, and I think if we are all honest, we've all been there at some time or another. The good news is that with time, I've been allowed to realize that YES, God will work things for my good and His glory if I allow Him to. Would I actually CHOOSE to go through these trials again? Probably not, but I'm learning that I don't always choose what is best for me. Guess I've got to trust the One who knows me better than I know myself, and the One who knows the plan and purpose for my life. Do I believe that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it?
Do I really believe?
Philippians 1:6 (MSG)
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.