As parents, as grandparents, as friends, as fellow journeyers in the adventure of living, we are sometimes very aware of the people who are on the sidelines of our lives. Some cheer us on. Others remind us of just how difficult life can be but we can manage. Still others have a destructive message. They tell us how poorly prepared we are to meet the challenges.
The author of Hebrews was writing to people who had decided that they wanted to change the “cheering section” they lived with. He finishes Chapter 11 and begins Chapter 12 with this.
“32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies… For the joy set before him (Jesus) he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Our faith offers us the opportunity to get to know several hundred amazing people. They lived over 1500 years and they overcame the impossible. Our faith offers us the opportunity to invite them onto the “sidelines” of our living, a cheering section that cannot be beat.
So when faced with struggle who is on your sidelines and what are they saying to you? God is saying that anything that we are living with or through can be used well. God is saying that we are never alone and are always surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, a faith family who will lift us, encourage us and celebrate with us.
So if you don’t like what you hear from the sidelines of our life, why not invite God’s cheering section into your living? If you already know this cloud of witnesses, who do you know that needs a new cheering section? We receive from the hand of God so we can give to those around us. That’s the deal.