“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven”, Ecclesiastes 3:1.
Sometimes in life it’s easy to feel like you’ve been benched; sidelined; taken off the field in your own life. Somewhere in the middle of being a wife, mom, janitor, chef, launderer and a plethora of other duties, you’ve lost purpose. You feel muddled with your wheels spinning. Like an exercise bike, you sure are working hard to get nowhere!
I felt that way recently. Since I was seven years old I’ve either been leading worship or been a part of worship. Even in a desert season God brought our family through, being involved in worship was something I clung to. Then God called us to move. For the first time in my life, I stood there in our new, awesome church surrounded by wonderful leaders and how was I feeling? Whiny! Instead of worshipping and praising God I stood there feeling empty; feeling benched. There I was looking on while others ministered in a way I had for so long.
It was then I shut my eyes and tried to focus on the still small voice. “Amanda, it’s a different season, I’m using you in a new way.” What I began to realize was sometimes the best thing we can do for God is to get over ourselves. I was so focused on feeling benched that I hadn’t opened my eyes to the new ways God was using me. One of those was to champion Tara in Titus II Woman.
While I believe that worship leading has been a powerful way that God has used me, I can’t get stagnant. I must grow. Sometimes growing means letting go. When we hang onto what was instead of reaching for what’s next it starts to become about us and not him. It’s hard to let go but we have to make space for the new things He has for us.
Another thing I learned in my bench lesson was, just because he’s asking you to do something different doesn’t mean you weren’t good at what he’s asking you to step away from. Don’t we just pout sometimes? I did, right there in church. “God, you took this from me.” “I must have missed you.” “I must really stink at this, that’s why you’re punishing me.” Reality is, our life happens in seasons. Apple trees only bear fruit in due season. It’s not because God’s mad at the apple tree or that it stinks at being an apple tree that it doesn’t produce fruit all the time. No, it’s because He knows that in order to be the best tree, it has to function differently in different seasons.
I don’t know what your season is. Maybe, it’s all you can do to make it through feeding, changing, and bathing your little blessings and you feel like a shampoo bottle; rinse and repeat. Maybe you just feel like someone has taken your “spot” on the team, but guess what? God has something new for you. Don’t let Satan lie to you. Embrace the new season you’re in. Maybe you just don’t know, your purpose is lost. You know something? You don’t have to have a seven point plan in place. Just do the next right thing. Encourage your pastor, pray for your neighbor.
The worst thing we can do when we feel benched is pout. Pouting players don’t get put back in the game. The players that rally around the team and cheer them on are more likely to play again.
God, I pray for those in a benched season. Open our eyes to the new things you want to use us for. I pray that you would help us to have an attitude of being on a heavenly team and cheering others on when we feel lost. Be our guide, I pray. Amen