“I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.”
– Psalm 119:141 (ESV)
“I’m nothing but a glorified tackling dummy!” Those were my thoughts as I got bulldozed by Joey during our pregame warm-ups. Joey was a high school senior, standing nearly six feet tall and every bit of two hundred and twenty-five pounds. I was only a freshman and not really enjoying my first season of organized football. At barely five foot seven and one hundred and fifty pounds, I was simply no match for Joey’s strength and size. Joey was not a mean guy, he was just getting ready to play four quarters of football and our coaches wanted all the starters to get in a good tackle before the game started. I was not getting much out of the drill. I felt insignificant and unimportant. Joey however, was a leader and realized that I needed some encouragement. He told me not to get discouraged, that my day was coming. Joey helped me see a bigger picture. I would not always be undersized and seemingly insignificant. If I continued to work hard and listen to my coaches, I could one day be in Joey’s shoes.
My football playing days are long gone, but there are still times in my life when I feel small and insignificant. The world has a way of bulldozing us just like Joey did me so many years ago. It is easy to feel that our hard work is undervalued and unappreciated. Maybe you only had a break-even season, but your neighborhood rival won the region championship. You may be having great success at a small school, but don’t get the headlines that the coach at the larger school seems to get. You may be doing everything right in your program, but you just do not have great talent. God’s Word challenges us not to forget His commandments during the difficult times. Do not waver and do not give up! Just maybe God is using the hard times to prepare and grow you for the good times that are coming your way in the future.
Heavenly Father, take away the doubts that I have about being insignificant or unimportant. Keep me focused on Your Word and Your promise of better things to come. Amen.