May 21, 2010
Making the Cut
May 21, 2010
Jesus answered, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6 NIV).
Friend To Friend
Listening to the kids playing in the neighborhood, I hear the familiar sound of little girls pretending to be cheerleaders. "Push em'back, push em' back, waaaay back. Push em' back, push em' back waaaaay back." Their chants take me back to my own years as a high school cheerleader.
I was a cheerleader from the seventh grade all the way through my senior year. Back in the 70's, girls didn't play on team sports, so this was about as athletic as it got in eastern North Carolina. In the spring of my freshman year, it was time to try out for the varsity squad. A panel of six judges sat along the sidelines and critiqued fifty or so hopefuls yell like freight trains, bounce like rubber balls, and perform acrobatic feats across the shinny gym floor. Pony tails bobbed. Pom-poms swished. Smiles flashed. Arms and legs flew.
"When you're up you're up, and when you're down you're down. But when you're up against the Gryphons, you're upside down!" The cheer closed with a series of cartwheels across the basketball court and an effortless split like a hot knife through butter. Then we sprang back up, shot our index fingers in the air, and ran off the court cheering, "We're number one! We're number one!"
After everyone had a chance to show their abilities and flash their smiles, we had to wait for the judges to tally the scores. Then one by one the names were called. My best friend's name was called first. Liz Safy. Then Belinda Judkins, Susan Edwards, Patricia Edwards. Thirteen names were announced. Liz and I made eye contact and held our breaths as the fourteenth and final name was called. It was not mine. While my buddies huddled together, jumping up and down in delight, I slipped out of the gym and made my way home.
Of course there were phone calls offering condolences. But Liz was the one who called and just cried with me. I was sixteen and heartbroken.
Later that night, there was a strange turn of events. The phone rang. Should I answer it? I thought. I was so weary of people calling to tell me they were sorry, but something made me pick up the phone one more time.
"Hello," I sadly said.
"Sharon, this is Mrs. Rose the cheerleading coach. I don't know how to tell you this," then there was a long hesitation. What could she say that was any worse than what she'd already told me?
Then she continued. "When I got home tonight, something told me to go back and recount the votes. There has been a mistake. You really did make the squad. It was Beth (not her real name) who didn't make the cut. I thought I could just keep it to myself and nobody would know there was a mistake, but I knew I'd struggle every time I saw your face. Congratulations. I am so sorry this happened to you. I'll see you at practice tomorrow."
I was speechless. My freight train voice was reduced to a mere squeak. "Thanks for being honest Mrs. Rose. I know this is hard. I'll see you tomorrow."
Immediately I called Liz and we yelled and screamed in delight. But then when I hung up the phone, my heart sank as I thought about two other people who were not shouting for joy. One was Mrs. Rose who had to deliver the disappointing news to Beth. The other was Beth, who was about to have her dreams dashed. I prayed for both of them.
Its one thing to get cut from a team and then realize there was a mistake and you really did make it. It's quite another to think you're in and find out you're not. This whole turn of events may seem very insignificant in the scheme of world events, but for a sixteen-year-old girl, it made a lasting impression.
There are many who do incredible feats for God, turn spiritual cartwheels, and yell "He's number one" but in the end, may find out they didn't make the team. There's only one way to make sure you're going to make the cut and be on God's eternal team. It's found in Romans 10:9, 10: "If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." Jesus is the only way. Good works or leading a moral life won't get you to heaven. Making Jesus Lord of your life is the only way to make it onto God's team.
I can't do splits or cartwheels any longer. The thought of it brings visions of emergency rooms and stretchers to my mind. And I'm so glad that such acrobatics aren't necessary to make the God Squad. As the Bible tells me in Romans 10, I've already made the cut. And if you know Jesus as Savior and Lord, then you have made it as well.
Dear God, thank You that I don't have to wonder if I have eternal life. Thank You for the assurance that I have eternal life through Jesus Christ, Your Son, and that I can know that when I leave this earthly life, I will be in heaven with You.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
If you were standing at the gates of heaven and the gatekeeper asked why he should let you in, what would you say?
If you aren't sure, then click on the link at the bottom of today's devotion to learn more about how to have the assurance of your salvation.
More From The Girlfriends
What exactly happens when we accept Christ as Savior and Lord? What is the dramatic change that occurs in us the moment we believe? Many people are living like spiritual paupers when in fact they are children of the King! If you would like to learn more about who you are and what you have as a child of God, see Sharon's book, Becoming Spiritually Beautiful and begin seeing yourself as God sees you!
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.