Sometimes when I least expect it an old memory will come to me, as clear as the moment it happened.
And yesterday such a thing happened. Out of the blue, just as real as the day it happened, I was once again a little girl, waiting to be picked for a team. One by one, another was picked, until it was only me standing there in my embarrassment and shame, listening to the team captains argue about who had to have me on their team.
Finally, the teacher had enough and assigned me to a specific team, which resulted in much mumbling, grumbling, and hostility from the unfortunate team that was forced to take me on. This caused them to relegate me to the far corners of the game, the furthest of the furthest outfield. Leaving me out there in my own little world, with next to zero chance of participating in the game, standing there with no idea of what the score was or who was ahead in the game. I only knew it was my team's turn up to bat, by the surging of players from one side of the diamond to the other.
Then one by one my teammates would take their turns at bat. Smack, one strong hit, and they're on 1st, 2nd , 3rd and home. Next player, smack, they're on base. And so it continued until it was my turn. The realization that it is my turn to bat brings cries of oh no's and dire predictions of losing the game.
Feeling the pressure, I take my turn, determined to show them that I can hit the ball as well as anyone.
The ball is thrown, and I have the bat in perfect alignment, I swing. Strike one. Sounds of frustration and anger come from behind me. I am firm in the thought that I will hit this next ball further than any of them have. My second swing is let go. Strike two. Miserable failure.
With angry words echoing behind me, I feel my face grow hot and just want the whole thing to be over. I close my eyes and desperately swing. Smack, I actually hit the ball. I start to run and it plops down too close to the pitcher. I'm out, the runner from third is tagged out, and the runner on first is out.
Ultimately our team loses and everyone let's me know it is my fault.
Pretty awful feelings to deal with. It sounds like a Charlie Brown story, except this was from my life, and it left a deep hurt, because it happened way too many times. But I am not unique. The sad truth is everyone I know has sorrows and deep hurts. All of us have had times when we have felt hurt and alone. But, there is one who will never leave us standing alone, one who values us far more than precious jewels. He is always there, wanting us, desiring for us to come to Him. He weeps over our tears and pain. He is the great I am and He wants each and everyone of us on His team.
Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Are we so afraid to fail that we cannot let go of the times when we feel that we did fail? The winners in this world try, fail, and adjust. You were willing to risk failure when many would not even try. Hey, you're a winner!