God: More Than A Spectator
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Often, during high school basketball games, if the score is extremely one-sided, second- or even the third-string players are sent onto the court and are given a chance to play during the final minutes of the game.
The chance to play, for the non-starters, gives them experience and earns them playing time, but it must be somewhat disconcerting, because, at about this same time, the bleachers begin to empty. Spectators, who want to beat the traffic out of the parking lot, or those disgusted (or satisfied) with the outcome of the game, are ready to call it a day.
Sometimes life can feel like this. Whether you’re playing for the winning team or the losing side, your efforts really don’t matter all that much—the game has already been decided, and the fans have left the gym.
Do you ever feel like a second-string substitute? Like what you’re doing doesn’t really count for much, and no one is watching, let alone caring about you?
- Maybe your children have grown up and outgrown their need for you
- Maybe you’ve become a “parent” to your parents and struggle with this unfamiliar role
- Maybe you’re newly retired or unemployed and have too many unoccupied hours to fill
- Maybe you find yourself suddenly alone due to divorce or the death of a spouse
Dozens of different life circumstances can find us feeling unimportant, lost or lonely—drifting along without a plan or a purpose—feeling like a second-string substitute for the varsity team.
But God: More Than A Spectator
For the times when you feel lonely or insignificant, it may help to think about the basketball game again—this time from a different perspective. When the gym starts to empty, and the subs are sent onto the court, do you know who stays in the bleachers? The parents.
The parents of the second or third-string players who finally make it onto the court never consider leaving while their child is still in the game. Winning or losing is not what they focus on. The final outcome may have already been decided, but their eyes are fixed on their child.
God knows the final outcome of His plan for you. He prepared the way to bring you safely home to Himself in heaven by sending Jesus to die and rise again for you. But that doesn’t mean He closes His eyes and leaves you to struggle here alone on your earthly path.
His eyes are ever fixed on you. He has you engraved on the palms of His hands. He knows when you rise up and when you lie down. He is interested in everything about you. In fact, He is not just observing you from a distance, He is right there with you in the middle of your struggle.
God has good news from His word for you:
I have called you by name, you are mine[i]
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.[ii]
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.[iii]
You are never facing life alone. Not even in the final quarter, when it looks as if all has been decided. God’s eyes are ever on you, and His loving care and support will never leave you.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your promise to go with me through all the seasons of my life. Thank you not only for preparing a home in heaven for me, but for being my constant Friend in this life, too. Remind me often that I am your precious child for Jesus sake, and that I am never alone. Amen.