I am the youngest of three. And the only girl. My two older brothers, Brandon and Ben, are really great guys. We have all grown up and moved on to different things and it’s been neat to watch the lives of people you grew up with flourish. But, when I look back to my childhood relationship with my brothers I see a distinct dynamic. Simply put, my brothers were cool and I was not (or at least it seemed that way to my 8yr old self). See, brothers play together. They have similar interests, it makes sense. But, as the youngest and only girl I was very often left out of sibling activities….especially anything involving sports. In fact, there are very few times I can recall actually playing with my brothers. These times include: 1. Forced family fun 2. Mom told them to. However, there was a 3rd situation; Their rare and desperate need for ONE MORE teammate. AKA: they needed me!! Although my position on the team generally meant “stand there and don’t do anything”, I was always excited to be on the team! Even though it almost always ended badly…(I was an easy target to blame if the game went south for their team).
Nevertheless, the high esteem in which I held my brothers was the single most important aspect of our playtime! I loved, respected and looked up to them so much that I was willing to drop anything and everything as soon as they invited me to play! Nothing I was involved in was as important as answering their call to play. Sometimes I would even insert myself into their vicinity just in the hopes that I might be needed even for a minute. THIS is my view of “childlike faith”. When God calls me to “play”, I want to be willing to drop everything that I’m doing to be a part of his team. And the picture I have of God, will provide an overwhelming role for how fast, joyous and determined I am to be a part of his calling!
Even though I was terrible compared to everyone on the team, I didn’t care. In that moment, being called to play was all I needed to persuade myself to step up to the plate and strike out with pride, because I knew the people who called me to play would love me no matter what the outcome of the game. Yet, that didn’t stop me from trying my VERY BEST. And during that game, the only opinions I cared about were my brothers’. My only goal for that game, win or lose, was to try my best and make my brothers proud. But at the end of the game, I was still their little sister. Our relationship stayed the same.
See, it all goes back to how I viewed my brothers. The person you respect and adore will always have a strong impact on your drive to succeed and how you define “success”.
I sit here in Costa Rica looking back and in awe of where God has taken me and where I am now. However, I know that in ministry it is easy to doubt. Easy to question the “calling”. Or look around and see so many other more qualified applicants for my position. But it’s not my job to tell God who to use, it’s my job to be faithful to follow. And at the end of whatever day, I know the only thing that matters is my eternally secure relationship as a daughter of the King. Loved and covered with grace…win or lose.
The days I wasn’t picked to play or the days I was left out, just added to the intensity and determination I possessed when I was finally put in the game. Sometimes waiting is good. In fact, the more I waited the more I learned about the game from the sidelines. And I think sometimes God commands us to wait, not because we are useless to him in that moment, but because we are supposed to be learning something and practicing our necessary skills for that “Big Game” one day (King David, anyone?). Yet, almost every time my brothers looked at me to say, “Bethy, grab your glove. You’re in!“, I already had it on and was practically in the outfield by the time they finished. I wanted nothing more than to play for their team and I was prepared at any moment to respond to their words.
Am I willing and prepared to do anything to be on God’s team? If not, what does that say about who I think God is? Am I content to use my waiting periods (…and language learning) to grow in knowledge and faith or will I choose to complain and be discouraged?
1 Timothy 6:15-16
“15—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.”