On July 22 last year, I wrote a post about long suffering. If you didn't read it, you can find it here, but this is a quote from that post:
While I am hopeful that my fruit of long suffering has matured, and I don't need to go through more, I am confident that with Jesus I will not lose heart.
On that very day, July 22, 2013, my husband came home from a doctors appointment and let me know that he had advanced cancer. If I'm honest, it felt like I had been sucker punched in the gut. I thought I was done with long suffering, but it had just begun, and begun big time. So I had to decide whether or not I trusted God, whether I trust him no matter what. Whether I trusted him throughout the battle with cancer...and even after my husband's death in December.
This was not a quick or easy decision. It took much prayer and soul searching. But in the game of life, I decided that I do trust God. Here is why. God is like the coach of a team. He cares about his "players" and wants them all to succeed and do their best, but at the end of the day, the coach's job is to look out for the team as a whole.
Maybe you're a batter, who is certain you could hit a home run, but the coach calls you to bunt...or to a sacrifice fly ball. Maybe you're the pitcher, who knows you've got another good inning in you, but the coach pulls you out of the game. You're not ready to go, but the coach takes the ball out of your hand and sends you to the dugout.
It's not personal. You may be the coach's best player. But he has to look out for the team as a whole. Your bunt or sacrifice fly helps another player along. Being pulled out the game may be because you'll played such a great game, that the coach can't ask anything else from you, so he pulls you, and sends in a closer.
The Coach is looking out for both you and the team. And if you don't trust your Coach, you cannot succeed in the game...of life.
God called me to a sacrifice fly, when I wanted a home run. God called my husband out of the game, when he was sure he had more innings left. With my favorite "player" gone, some of the joy has come out of the game. But I've got to keep playing. God will call me to another "at-bat" and I'll have to do what the Coach says. And I will. Because I know God cares about me. I know that God's team wins.
When the game is over, and we've won, all of the players will storm the field, whether they were taken out early or not, together. And together, we will all celebrate!
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com