When the G.O.A.T. gives you glory

It was an iconic moment captured by an iconic photo. The date was October 27, 2018. The Los Angeles Dodgers were facing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series; it was game 3 with the Dodgers trailing two games to none. Rookie pitcher Walker Buehler had just pitched 7 scoreless innings in the most intense game of his career. As he walked off the field, with the outcome of the game as of yet still undecided, the capacity crowd at Dodger stadium gave him a standing ovation accompanied by a thunderous roar acknowledging the herculean performance by the young pitcher. In that moment though, something happened which drowned out the cheering of the raucous crowd: the rookie was given a standing ovation by the greatest Dodger pitcher in the organization’s long and storied history. As the rookie strode towards his team’s dugout, Sand Koufax slowly rose from his seat clapping his approval. The G.O.A.T. was giving glory to the rookie. What a moment! I get goosebumps just writing this.

It is a moment we all long for, if not dream of. No, not a standing ovation from tens of thousands of screaming fans, rather, the acknowledgement of a job well done. Most of us, if we are honest, crave such honor; to have our work recognized, validated, and appreciated is rooted deep within each of us. As a result, many of us struggle with anxiety, bitterness, depression, and stressful relationships. We lose motivation, morale, and often struggle to keep putting our best foot forward. The struggle is indeed real! To keep going with minimal or no expressed appreciation is a challenge for the best of us and can leave us to worry and wonder if it will ever come. We want to know that what we do has VALUE and MEANING; that we are indeed valuable. This is particularly true when faced with challenging or painful circumstances.

It is in this context that the Apostle Peter reminds Christians of the promise of honor and glory from God for their steadfast faith amid persecution and suffering. He begins and ends his letter of encouragement to suffering Christians with the promise that God will honor their faithfulness.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…”

1st Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

The reality is that much of what we do that is truly admirable and worthy of any sort of praise is unseen, achieved when no one is watching, and cloaked in darkness or invisibility. As a result, we are tempted to doubt God’s love and care for us. It is the same temptation Eve faced in the Garden (Genesis 3:4-5). Satan posited the thought in her mind that God was withholding good from her; good she deserved. Convinced that God wasn’t going to give her what she was entitled to have, she sought it on her own with disastrous consequences. We face the same struggle. We want God to give us the recognition we think we deserve and when He doesn’t, we grab for it ourselves leaving brokenness in our wake.

Peter gives us the assurance that God indeed sees and will give us our recognition. He calls us to trust God’s loving goodness and His sovereign timing in giving us honor. Hold fast!

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