It’s fall football time, in our area the Seattle Seahawks are usually the favorite, but because we are also a military town we also understand that it is not the only team that is playing! Before every new season there is something called “the draft”. It is when coaches and owners send scouts out to colleges and universities to see which player would be an asset to their teams. They examine their “stats” versus the positions that they may have open and during the special “draft days”, in some kind of predetermined order select a new player for their team. I am sure it is done with many calculations and those young players are thinking “pick me, pick me”.
Joining the NFL only happens to a small percentage of the population–it is like a subgroup. There are many subgroups in life–some we actively choose to join, others that life seems to choose for us. A friend of mine son just joined a subgroup of children with diabetes 1. Not their choice by any means. Receive a cancer diagnosis? You’ve just joined a subgroup. Found out your child is autistic or born with Down Syndrome? Another subgroup. Got divorced? Infertility diagnosis? Addiction in yourself or family? Dealing with mental illness? Yes, you are now part of a subgroup. Sometimes being drafted into these subgroups can seem unfair, random and overwhelming.
Sin entered into the world. It brought death with it and over the years has also affected not only our physical bodies, but also our emotional and spiritual self. To be honest, life in the general “mainstream” has enough challenges. The younger me when hearing of someone in these “subgroups”, would just be grateful it “wasn’t me” or my family. I, too, was drafted into some subgroups without my choice. My husbands debilitating stroke shoved me into the role of caregiver. His subsequent death enlisted me in the “widow” subgroup. If you have the courage, look around you. Your neighbor, your co-worker, your friend or extended family is probably part of a subgroup that they neither chose or want, but are taking up that cross.
Matthew 25:34 then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was in prison and you visited me. These are other subgroups Jesus encourages us to acknowledge and care for. Father, open our eyes to other subgroups that we can minister your words of hope. Open our hearts where we are afraid to reach out because of some unknown fear. Father, help us not to be afraid of you drafting us into any subgroup. You know our purpose. I ask for strength, grace and mercy for anyone reading these words that feel they are overwhelmed by their subgroup. Help them. Heal them. Send help from your sanctuary and your people. In Jesus Name, amen
There is hope for you in whatever subgroup you currently find yourself in. God has not forsaken you. Part 2 is next week!