It Was Worth It

5:30 AM

I walked out onto the stage.  The lights shone down, nearly blinding me.  I knew that thousands of people were watching me, all of my immediate family and many of my friends in the audience and backstage, and then friends and family back home via Livestream.  "My name is Anna Moss and I use the English Standard Version," I said.  In that moment, I felt as if all my hard work was being paid off, that I was finally experiencing the reward of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours that I had spent studying for the National Bible Bee.  The times that I had chosen to study God's Word rather than read a book, the hours that I had spent doing school during fall break so that I wouldn't have to do it in the last few weeks before Nationals, the moments when I had stopped playing the piano so that I could memorize, all of it now felt worth it.  All of my hard work was now paying off.

After Nationals, though, it didn't always feel so worth it.  I had memorized 205 passages for Nationals (about 880 verses), and there were 199 of those passages that I never recited during the competition!  Was it really worth it?  Why had I made all of those sacrifices to just get up on a stage and recite a few passages -- and then get eliminated?  Why had I studied dozens of Greek words and hundreds of cross-references if they weren't going to be asked on the test? But now I can see that it really was worth it.  Even if I hadn't made it to semi-finals, even if I had flunked both the written and oral rounds, it would have been worth it, because the true reward is God's Word hidden in my heart.  It probably won't matter (at least, not much) how I ranked in the Bible Bee in ten years, but what will matter is that I will know God's Word and that I love studying it.  What will make the countless hours of studying for the Bible Bee worth it is that it helped me to find God's Word, and now it is a joy and the delight of my heart (Jeremiah 15:16).

Bible Bee friends, scores will be released any minute now.  I know that this is important to many of us, but let's not forget that we have received a far greater reward: countless words of God in our heart.  Now we know how our Savior wants us to be serving Him and what His will is (our sanctification, see 1 Thessalonians 4:3).  We have acquired a deeper love for the Bible and its Author.  I know that some of you may feel like you've failed, but I can say from personal experience that the times that I didn't score as high as I wanted were for my good -- it didn't feel like it at the time, but I now I can see that it was.  Be glad that God is giving you this opportunity to grow in.

Others of us may feel tempted towards pride when we see our ranking.  We may feel a tendency to think, "Oh, wow, look what I did!"  But we didn't do it.  None of us can achieve any ranking or score without the help (and I don't think that help is a strong enough word right here) of God.  He is the One who gave us strength and endurance through all the hours of Bible study.  He is the One who planned exactly what would happen.  He is the One who deserves all the praise!  We can do nothing on our own, and are truly helpless.  As David said, "I have no good apart from you." (Psalm 16:2)

So, as you find out your score in a few hours (Lord willing), rejoice!  God was good, His will was done, and He was glorified.  Our time wasn't wasted because God's Word is having a daily impact on our lives.

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  1. Anna, thank you for sharing! As you know, I was one of the ones that wanted to make semi finals *so* much...but even though I didn't, "As for God, His way is perfect!" And all those hours spent studying were not wasted in the least bit! I wouldn't trade them for anything :) And even though i didn't make semis, Nationals was an AWESOME award itself! ;)

  2. Did they release the scores?

  3. AMEN!! Thank you so much for the reminder!


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