In basketball, you’re benched at times for different reasons.
…it’s because you are hurt.
…it’s because you need to watch.
…it’s because you need some rest.
…it’s because of match ups.
…it’s because of chemistry.
…it’s because you are in foul trouble because you’ve been too aggressive.
We are reading through Acts of Apostles with our group and there is a jump in the narrative that many miss but it affects the story.
Paul goes from condoning the stoning of Stephen (ch.8), to blinded on the road to Damascus (ch.9), to being sought out by Barnabas (ch.11), to being “set apart” for church planting (ch.13). When you read through this history book in the Bible, you get a since that the Holy Spirit is moving and moving fast. You read it after the fact, with the facts, but not so much a since of time.
You see, for Paul, 12-13 years of heartache, desperation, and frustration occur between chapter 9 and chapter 11.
It didn’t go down like “blind by the light, revved up like deuce” to go apostle-like on the region like we tend to propagate in our churches.
He was blinded, got into the game, pissed people off, and then he got benched in Macedonia for more than a decade.
In the American church, we use a stat called “burnout” as if it isn’t part of the Way. It is a negative term. It’s a lament. We try to find fault in either the organization or the person.
But maybe “the benching” process is part of God’s plan.
Moses’ story had a delay.
Joseph’s story did too.
And David. And Peter’s.
And maybe your’s?
If you feel “benched”, use that time to heal, learn, rest, and understand things.