There was only one time ever in my whole life when I enjoyed a sport, and that was summer kickball in my backyard. Dad would play sometimes. The yard was so small that the ball didn’t have far to go from the clothesline pole that doubled as pitcher’s mound to home plate in front of the row of peas in the garden.
And I was allowed a pinch kicker.
Which meant when I it came my turn to kick, I stepped back to let someone take my place who could actually meet foot to ball. Then I got to run the bases, which required no great athletic aptitude when it meant circling the yard. And, Safe! I was amazing.
This came to mind Saturday night when the weight of everything in life rested a few hundred pounds on my heart, and I tried worshiping but couldn’t quite seem to meet soul to God.
I let my voice drop out. I watched and listened.
There was the left foot of the song leader stomping occasional time. Two, three, four.
The index finger of the bass player tapping relaxed down low on the strings.
The acoustic guitar player with eyes closed and head tipped back like he had found a sunbeam coming through the window.
Bass kick coming through the floor.
Three women in harmony plus one tambourine.
And my men flanking me, baritone and tenor.
Sometimes one heart needs that many to play for it. The strong ones giving a little help so the weak ones can run.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
The Lord often uses one person to help another person soar. I’ve been both. I’ve been the strong one who has prayed and helped and encouraged. Right now I’m the faint one, and I thank God for the hardworking praise band, for the husband who prays and listens and seems to preach a sermon every week just to strengthen me, and for the friend in Costco with her hug and, How can I help?
It’s almost impossible to hope in the Lord all by your lonesome.
So for you strong ones –pinch worship for somebody today? Yes –just a little something you could do that might help get a weary soul hoping toward God?
And for the worn out soul with trouble on the north, south, east, and west of you, let me share some encouragement I found today from F.B. Meyer:
God’s hard instructions are never his last words to us, for the woe, the waste, and the tears of life belong to its interlude, not its finale.
Let us hope in the Lord. (Maybe if we say it together?)