Anxiety, Endurance for the Journey, Loss, Trust, Words of Endurance

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

You know that I love comparing the game of baseball to the journey through life. It is amazing to me how many principals hold true for both baseball and life.

For instance, there is the principal of the batter loosening his grip on the bat rather than tightening his grip when he is at the plate. The batter loosens his grip as the pitch is thrown so that his hands are relaxed then he is ready and set up for connecting firmly to the pitch.

I was recently sent a devotional written by Cathy Jodeit whose 16-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2006. Cathy began to journal her journey during that time and now has a website and shares her devotionals to encourage others.

I wanted to write my own analogy on this principle of baseball and life but I think I will just share what Cathy shared in that devotional about Loosening Your Grip.

“… It has occurred to me that loosening the grip on a bat in a baseball game is very closely related to holding life loosely. I don’t know about you but the tighter I try to hold onto life and try to control it, the more frustrated, disappointed, angry or fearful I seem to get. It is only when I let go and let God be my navigator and the true holder of what is going on that I am freed up to give it my best. My best wisdom, my best attempt, my best acceptance, my best attitude, my best swing, etc.

We tend to choke up when we are put in pressure situations – get anxious about an outcome – unsure about our ability to cope – too dependent on the results. That is one of my greatest obstacles to overcome – to quit trying to not only control situations but people and let God be the one that I go to for security in situations and let God be the one who directs others HIS WAY and not be insistent on them responding in MY way.

Life throws us all kinds of balls, fastballs, slow balls, curves balls, sliders BUT God is the one who knows what is coming. If we loosen our grip on life and focus on Jesus … it is then that we have the potential that God has given us to get on base or even hit a homerun in the situation that we are standing at the plate, waiting and pondering with great hope how it is to turn out.

We are called to loosen our grip on life and let God tighten His on our lives. For that is where we will find true victory and joy.”

Loosen your grip on your life and find true joy in knowing that He will never let you go ….

My sheep listen to my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they will never die,
and no one can steal them out of my hand.
My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all,
and no person can steal my sheep out of my Father’s hand.

Loosen your grip on your life and experience true victory and peace in knowing that He guides and holds us with His right hand…

Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?
Where can I run from you?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I lie down in the grave, you are there.
If I rise with the sun in the east
and settle in the west beyond the sea,
even there you would guide me.
With your right hand you would hold me.

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Fear, Healing, Trust, Words of Endurance

And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Because of the joy awaiting him,
he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.
Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people
then you won’t become weary and give up.
HEBREWS 12:1-3 (NLT)

No runner can finish a marathon without a clear focus. Whether we are enduring a race or the challenge of a lifetime, a clear focus helps carry us through the pain and distractions that can overwhelm us.

The importance of focusing on a goal couldn’t have been clearer for me than when I was making my baseball comeback. I would never have stuck with my grueling rehab regimen without a definite goal in mind – it was much too hard – I would have given up. BUT I was fixed on giving it my best to return to the major leagues.

Every weight that I lifted, every muscle that I stretched, every hour that I spent in the gym was focused on the day when I’d once more put on my uniform, trot out to the mound and throw my first pitch toward home plate.

Much more important though– a clear focus helps us endure in our spiritual life as well. Through the challenges I faced, I learned that it is impossible to stick with our spiritual regimen unless we keep the end goal in full view. Every trial that we face, every burden that we shoulder, every agony that we suffer must be borne with our everlasting destiny in mind.

That destiny is to be with Jesus – face-to-face, heart to heart with Him. That is why Scripture tells us to “keep our eyes” on Him. When Jesus is clearly in focus, we can be empowered to endure whatever trials come our way and not be afraid.

So we can say with confidence,
“The LORD is my helper,
so I will have no fear.

When I consider how Jesus endured His trial, I am better able to face mine. Knowing what Jesus endured and how He endured it comforts me. Jesus doesn’t just sympathize with my pain – he understands it because He has endured it as well.

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses,
for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.

When I focus on Jesus He empowers me to live out my faith. When I can’t go on, when I can’t possibly endure one more trial, setback or hardship, I can ask God to fill me with His strength. I can ask Him to empower me with His Divine energy so that I can face whatever lies ahead.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

When I keep my eyes on Jesus, I am never alone. The Spirit of God lives within me. God knows my every thought, ache and tear – every single one of them! I may have to endure hardship; in fact the Bible assures me that I will. But because I am a child of God, I will never have to endure hardship alone.
God has said,

“I will never leave you;
I will never abandon you.”

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky