Put me in Coach!

It's that time of year where everyone is talking about football and even though my team is not doing as good as I had hoped ( We will RISE UP one day)  I still can't hide from the football fever!  It is everywhere, so much so that I started looking at the game and realized that I can relate to it more than I care to admit.  Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel like I've been benched.  Yup I said it, I swear its like I am sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else live their lives.  It's as if God has taken me out of the game of life and has placed me in a holding pattern! Of course you probably have never felt this way, but for the sake of full disclosure it happens more than I care to admit.  At first I thought I was imagining things, but then I realized that I was really feeling stagnant so I decided to try to figure out what is going on with me prior to getting benched by God.  I have come up with 3 reasons why he would take someone out of the game and I wanted to share them with you.

3 Reasons while God may have benched you...

Reason #1 - You have been injured and need to heal
Sometimes life breaks us.  We have so much pain from our past that it can make it hard to function in our present.  We begin to judge new opportunities based on evidence that was collected within past failures within our personal and professional lives.    This is faulty thinking and it causes us to self sabotage all of the things God is trying to give us.  I believe God allows us to mess things up to a point and then he shuts it down.  I can't speak for others, however I have seen my doors stop opening professionally, I might stop dating and in extreme situations I might feel isolated all together.  If this has happened to you understand that this is not a punishment! No one benches their MVP unless it's the only way to ensure that they will be able to at their optimum level when they return.  As Christians we are all Christ's MVP and he would only take us out of the game if it was absolutely necessary!  Believe me I know it is hard but go ahead and use this time to heal.  writing, reading self-help books, attending classes at church,  and counseling are all good tools to help with the process.  Get yourself a prayer partner who can lift you up and hold you accountable at the same time.  I can't say that this will instantly heal you, but know that time heals all wounds. Trust the process and you will be back on the field in no time!
Reason #2 - You need to rest up for the next season
Burnout is real! I believe this is why we have seasons where we are constantly on the go, working on several ministries, pursuing our careers, running a household, and if you are single like me keeping an active social life all while trying to maintain relationships with the Lord and your loved ones! Whew!! That's a lot going on at one time which mean you are probably running on fumes.  We all have invisible buckets that we carry our spiritual and emotional fuel in.  If you are constantly giving of yourself without allowing yourself time to fill back up you will eventually burn out or worse become bitter! Think about the story of Mary and her sister Martha in Luke 10:38-42.  When Jesus came to visit their home Mary stopped what she was doing to sit at his feet while Martha kept cooking and cleaning.  This made Martha angry and she wanted Jesus to make her sister get up and work, but Jesus refused.  You see he actually wanted both of them to take time to rest and receive a word at his feet.  We all want to be successful and serve the Lord but we have to have balance.  If we don't sit down and take the time on our own then he may bench us to force our hand.  I find that I am less stressed and more productive when I take the time to replenish myself.  Some great things you can incorporate in your life are daily devotions,  meditating, speaking affirmations over yourself and going on vacations.  You would be surprised at what taking 30 mins out of every day just for you will do!
Reason #3  We are not following the play 
I went back and forth on how to say this but the reality is sometimes we are disobedient to the will of God.  God loves us but please don't get it twisted he will sit us down until we are ready to be obedient to our purpose.  It is just like if the coach calls out one play and the you decide that you will run another play instead and expect to get accolades for not following directions!  Now don't misunderstand me, we do have free will, however when we run from God's plans there are consequences just ask Jonah!  But seriously,  I believe that to whom much is given much is required and the closer your relationship with God is the more he will expect from you ( and by you I mean us lol)  We always say that we want to receive all that God has for us, but we don't always want to do it his way.  The truth is that we can't expect abundant blessings if we are not living in the abundance of God.
So there you have it; the three main reasons that I believe God benches us.  I know what you are thinking, a person would have to be perfect to not fall into one of these categories!  You are right, but remember there is no such thing as the spiritual gift of perfection. It is not expected nor desired for you to live a perfect life, but it is expected that you strive to be the best you.  I didn't write this post to frustrate you, but to let you know that being benched is only for a season just like any other trail that comes your way.  It is a time to allow yourself to be restored and to prepare for the next level.  We all make choices that may cause God to bench us, however we will never kick you off the winning team.