I love volleyball. I love the beauty, the momentum swings, and the fact that I get to pound the ball into another player from the opposing team! I’ve spent much of my life learning the sport of volleyball, and all the while, the sport was actually teaching me a thing or two.
There’s this thing in volleyball called “the third court.” You don’t want to find yourself practicing there, because the coaches aren’t really watching you. They’re watching (you guessed it) the first and second courts. To be honest, life on the third court felt a little bit like being in jail (not that I’ve ever been in jail – to be clear).
And I know I’m not the only one who’s felt that way.
As I read the real life story in Genesis 39, I saw a lot of myself in it. I’ve never had it as bad as Joseph did, but…
Feeling like I didn’t do anything to deserve being there? Check.
Feeling the “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome? Check.
Feeling completely misunderstood by my authority figures? Check.
But Joseph’s experience of God was also my experience of God. Joseph experienced God while he was in prison. God was in his hell, not just in his heaven. God showed Joseph kindness and granted him favor, not in spite of the prison, but because of it. And after spending a lot of time on volleyball’s third court, I’ve come to the same conclusion.
God is with me. There. On the court where no one else is looking. He’s refining me, renewing me, and making me better at everything, whether or not my authority figures are watching.
Maybe you’re on the third court right now. Maybe you’re in a prison where all of your efforts are going unnoticed by important people. God is there with you. I promise. But most of all, HE promises.
This has proven to be a profound lesson in my life, so I’ve told it in greater detail on theincrease.com. Please let me introduce you to the God I know there.
—Angie Forsett, USA Olympic volleyball player