This report is about being left behind in life, and how the Bible wants us to think about it. Our attitude and how we view and handle things in life is very important.
Children, have you ever felt left behind because all of your friends got invited to a party, but you didn’t? Or maybe someone asked your friend to come over on Sunday, but they have never asked you to come over before? How do you take this? Young people, what about you? Maybe you have never been asked to pray in Sunday school. What about when everyone was invited to Mary’s house for a party, but you never received the invitation? Do you feel left behind or think “Oh, what’s the use? I’m just plain old me, and no one likes me”? What about you, older saints? Do you ever feel left behind because of your health or age? How about you, busy mother, or hard-working dad? At one time or another, we will all feel left out and wonder where we fit in. We may wonder what our place is in life. Life brings us many rough roads, with twists and turns, but through it all, we must remain sweet and walk on.
I want to talk about three men in the Bible that seemed to be left behind, yet God turned things around and used them in great ways:
Joseph: Here was a young man whose prophetic dreams were mocked and ignored by his family. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. But when the time came, God used him in a mighty way, not only to save his family, but also a whole nation! (read Genesis 37-47).
David: This boy was left behind to care for his father’s sheep while his older brothers went to fight in the war. He stayed in his place, and when the time came, he was able to defeat Goliath and save Israel! (Read 1 Samuel 17).
The final man is found in Ecclesiastes 9:14-15,
“There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.”
You may wonder “how does this affect me?” In the first two examples, although they were left behind at first, they still eventually received recognition. But in this story, the man remains unknown. We will never in this life know his name, where he lived, or what happened to him, and it seems that he never gained anything for saving the city. He was still poor and unrecognized in the end.
Don’t feel bad when things don’t turn out as you planned. When you have done all you can do, leave the rest to God. We often have great hopes in our lives, yet the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Obstacles may arise that will cause the fastest runner to slow down, or the strongest army to lose the battle. Disappointments may often seem random and unexpected, yet they happen according to God’s will. Don’t be afraid to be left behind, because God will work in His time, and He will bring you through with victory!