I remember standing there, just wishing my name would be called out.
Every lunch and recess we would run up to the oval to play a game of soccer. The captains (the two best players) would pick us off one by one till everyone was chosen before the muddy game of soccer would begin.
The thing that would determine whether I would be on the winning side each day was dependent on what team I was on. It was Jason who was the best player, so this was the team everyone wanted to be in!
And since I was Jason's best mate, I was chosen first every single time! It had little to do with my playing ability, but everything to do with the fact he just wanted me in his team! It's at this point that I realised that no matter how I performed on the field, I was part of a winning team. Nothing could come against me! We were invincible and won every single match at lunch and recess.
In a similar way, each of us are chosen and invited to be a part of God's team. As we place our faith in Jesus we become a part of His family and as a result reap the benefits of belonging to the winning side! Paul expresses this in a similar way to how I felt as I ran over to join my mate as he picked me:
'If God is for us, who can be against us?' – Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)
The difference with us is that we're not playing a soccer in a school yard, but navigating our way through the challenges of life. Sometimes we can really feel like we are up against it as things come at us from all sides and we can be tempted to think we are left on our own.
However the crucial thing here is to realise that there is One who will always be for us and never ever against us. It's God who gives us victory in every battle we face and the strength to over come the odds. It's not about how well we perform, but where our faith is placed
that is the determining factor in victory:
'For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith' – 1 John 5:4 (ESV)
If your up against it, never forget that God is always working for your good, and that as you reach out your hands of faith to Him He will give you the strength to overcome!