“You’re Up!” (how prepared are you?)

There you are on the bench and the coach looks to you and says, “You’re Up!”   Sheer panic comes over as you recognize the opportunity that is before you—but are you ready for what happens during the game, and also after the game?
The vital question is “how prepared are you”?
I was thinking about this recently when I was having a morning devotion time.  I was hearing about the story of Joseph (the one with the nice coat) when his father sends him out to check on his brothers.   When Joseph visits with his brothers, the scene turns ugly. Some of his brothers wanted to kill him, but eventually, they sold him as a slave to some passers-by.
David (the guy who fights the giant) also was sent out by his father to check on his brothers.  When he encounters them, they too are annoyed at seeing their little brother.
So, what’s the point in all this–it’s this:
* in the story of Joseph, after years of imprisonment, through a God-ordained series of events, Joseph becomes the second in charge in the land of Egypt.  Throughout the many years where he served in the Egyptian government and there, experienced being mistreated and falsely accused, Joseph seemed to always carry himself with constant integrity and wisdom.
* in the story of David, although he was not supported by his older brothers, he rose up to fight and defeat the enemy of Israel- Goliath and through his successes in battle ended up becoming the king of Israel.
In these historical accounts, both Joseph and David started out their day as any other, and they obediently did what their fathers had asked them to do–checking on their brothers.  no big deal, right?
However, the unexpected events for both these men were life-changing.  After times of trial for both men, they both ended up as successful leaders.
I believe what prepared both men for their responses to the unexpected experiences in their lives was that they had prepared well.    Joseph seemed to have a close relationship with God because of his awareness of God speaking to him two times in a dream. His godly response to the king’s wife trying to seduce him, where he says, “I can’t do this thing and sin against my God” also points to a close relationship with God.
Looking at David, he too came to his unexpected encounter with Goliath after a long time of preparation. He told the king that he was not worried about fighting this beast, Goliath, because he had battled other beasts (lions and bears) and won.  He not only was confident to come in to this fight with Goliath because of his physical skills, but also because of his relationship with God.  He clearly desired to make God’s name known throughout the earth (rather than his own)–great humility, there.  It was also in the many years before this battle that David wrote so many of the Psalms, again cultivating a tender heart for his God.
So, I want to ask you, “how well are you preparing for the time when God calls you and says, “You’re up!’  you know those unexpected times that will occur in your future?
Now is the time to prepare because you want to be ready whenever that calling comes.  And the truth is that you will never know the intensity or duration of the unexpected challenges and opportunities that will come your way.
Start Preparing Today!

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