“. . . for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.” -- Ephesians 1:11b
I was not a gifted athlete growing up. I lived in the shadow of three older siblings who were all incredible athletes; it took a lot of hard work for me to make those basketball teams. And when I did make them, I didn’t get much playing time. As I sat the bench, I became frustrated at times because I wasn’t playing, wondering why I was there if I wasn’t going to be a part of my team’s wins or losses.
But then I would remind myself that the coaches wanted me there. They saw something in me that they did not see in others. I was chosen to be there.
In his own words in Philippians 3, Saul was a “real Hebrew if ever there was one.” Saul despised the followers of Jesus. As he knew Jewish law, he saw the people of Jesus as an unholy uprising and began to arrest and kill those who claimed to follow Christ.
But you know what? God still loved Saul. God created Saul. Even though Saul hated Christians, God still used him to reach the known world for Jesus Christ. Saul, eventually called Paul, even called himself the “least deserving of all God’s people” in Ephesians 3. But God still used him to change the world.
If you ever feel bad because you are not playing as much as you want, remember that you are on the team because the coach wants you there. If you ever look at your life and think, Look at all this bad stuff I’ve done! How can God love me? The Bible is clear that He does love you! He created you! He can and wants to use you! He has something awesome for you! Before you set foot in any gym, arena, ﬁeld or another area of play, remember that “. . . he makes everything work out according to his plan.” Just give your life to Him and let Him make you new!
Isaiah 59:1; I Peter 2:9–10; Philippians 3:5–8
“Oh, Father, I am so thankful You love me and created me for a purpose. Would you please help me to seek You more and follow You more closely? In Your Son’s name. Amen.”