I have the privilege of helping coach my little girl’s softball team over the next few weeks! We had our first game of the season last night. We are the Lilies!! For the last couple of weeks we have practiced and prepared fielding the ball, batting and learning the process of how the game works! We end each practice with a devotion and prayer and talk about encouraging each other on the field and off! We talk about loving Jesus and how that is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing. Softball is fun and we want to do our best but the main reason we are there is to lift up Jesus!
One of the traditions of the Upward games is that at the end of the game, a player gets the game ball. Last night for our team, it was an easy choice! I was coaching on the first base side when our team was on the field. One of our precious little girls (they are 5 and 6) caught the ball and got an incredible out on first base! It was a classic stretching catch that would have made the ESPN highlights had the camera crew been there! After the dust settled, the little girl from the other team took her helmet off and headed back toward her dugout. As she left first base, our sweet little player grabbed her and gave her a big hug and said “sorry for getting you out!” I was a mess!! Needless to say, this precious little soul was the recipient of last night’s game ball!!
We met together after the game and had the honor of giving out the game ball and talking over how well the game went! We looked into those little faces and told them that softball is “good” but that JESUS is the main reason we are there! We talked about how proud we were of this little girl for her great play at first, but the hug and her encouragement was the most important thing. Sharing JESUS with the player from the other team was what was on her little heart! She was there to play softball but she did not forget the most important thing!
As I got ready for bed last night, I was thinking back about the game and that precious little girl’s face and her sweet little arms as she hugged the other player and encouraged her! I thought what a beautiful picture that was of her heart and how she was doing her “job” on the field but how JESUS was where he heart was! She used a regular opportunity in what she was doing to reflect the love of GOD. In that brief moment, the face of Jesus was a little brown-eyed blonde softball player standing on first base! The question floods my mind “Where am I?” Where am I sharing and encouraging and lifting up and praising? Where am I standing and sharing the gospel? Can people talk to me and hear the “good news” or do I get so wrapped up in my “job” that I forget “the main thing”?
God gives us breath and life to be able to share the gospel through our everyday lives. We do not need a stage with lights and a crowd, sometimes a dusty softball field will do. He sets divine appointments in our path, and all He needs us to do is take them. I love the words in the praise song that says, “Your praise will ever be on my lips.” If we lived our lives with His praise on our lips each day, what a testimony we could share when we have a captive audience! The gospel is good news and God is matchless and powerful and gracious and we live in a world that is in desperate need of these things.
Someone in your path today needs to hear that God SO loved them that HE gave His Son for them and for their salvation. Someone needs to know that HE is the lover of their soul and the lifter of their head. There is a soul today searching for their purpose and their place and the world wants to make sure they do not find it. We have an urgency to share what HE has done in our heart with the folks around us! That’s the most important thing!!!
“For GOD so loved and dearly prized the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes and trusts in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16