Open Your Bible
Lamentations 5:1-22, Isaiah 55:1-13
BY Guest Writer
Text: Lamentations 5:1-22, Isaiah 55:1-13
Back in the day, in the glory of middle school, I was a cheerleader. It was a short-lived phase, really, but little 13-year old Kels was all about the poms. There’s a chance I have since burned the pictures to prove it, but even nine years later, ask me to cheer on the Chantilly Chargers and I’ve got it on lock.
The name of the sport speaks for itself. Cheerleaders are to be the leaders of cheer—the ones who pump up both the players and the crowd, faithfully standing on the sidelines as a symbol of support for those in the trenches of the game.
This is the thing: though I still have the flippy skirt from my days of cheerleading yore, I’m not always a cheerleader— of my people, of their successes, of their joys, or of their victories. Sometimes, and perhaps even often, I am cynical and critical. I mask it as being “realistic,” but that is really just a shoddy attempt to loosen myself from the call to encourage and build up.
If I’m being honest, and this seems like both a safe and terrifying place to do so, my lack of cheering on my people can be linked back to some level of jealousy, insecurity, or fear of not measuring up. Often a combination of all three. Instead of rejoicing alongside my brothers and sisters, my train of thought can sometimes read like this:
I should have gotten that job.
I could have written that piece just as well.
That boy could have liked me too.
I’m just as good a friend as she is.
What I accomplished is more important.
When I trace back these insecurities, I make a startling discovery: I’m afraid God’s economy is one of scarcity, and I believe there might not be enough of Him to go around. But Sisters, His economy is one of abundance! He pleads with us, “Come, everyone who thirsts!” (Isaiah 55:1, emphasis mine). Everyone. God is not stingy with His blessing—there is enough of His infinite goodness for all of us. Talent and creativity and joy and peace are wonderful—and truly they are gifts from God! But true restoration is not found in our success or another’s failure, but in reconciliation to the one true God.
I might have traded in the sidelines for the stands when it comes to football, but God help me, I want to be marked by a posture of leading the cheers for my brothers and sisters in Christ as they run the race of faith. Instead of feigned excitement for their earthly accomplishments, I want a heart that sincerely roots for their eternal redemption. Rather than foster feelings of jealousy or competition, I want see my co-laborers in the Kingdom “go out in joy and be led forth in peace” (Isaiah 55:12).
Lord, like the writer of Lamentations, give me a heart that longs not just for my own renewal but the renewal of the people of God.
“Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored!” Amen.
Kelsey King lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is loving her life as the She Reads Truth research assistant. Give her a donut with rainbow sprinkles and a good book and she just might love you forever.