Discovering Who I Am, Loss, Pain, Trust, Words of Endurance
I’m not saying that I have this all together,
that I have it made.
But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ,
who has so wondrously reached out for me.
Friends, don’t get me wrong:
By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this,
but I’ve got my eye on the goal,
where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
After I faced the pain of losing my arm and my identity I knew it was time to press on – time to move onward – time to trust God to build a new identity. There was no turning back.
Prior to my retirement from professional baseball in November of 1989 I had realized that God was doing something in my life that was bigger than baseball. I knew before the cancer in my arm had returned – before my arm had to be amputated – that a major change was coming. I didn’t know what God had in store on the journey but I knew something different lay ahead.
That heartfelt assurance was a strong motivation to move onward through the difficult journey I was on. And I knew the Lord had said and promised …
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.”
ISAIAH 43:18-19 (THE MESSAGE)
Alan Redpath has observed that “When God wants to do an impossible thing, He takes an impossible man and crushes him.” As I endured the crushing of this impossible man – me – I had the hope and the promise that I could move onward and that God would rebuild what He had crushed because I believed the words of the Apostle Paul …
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind
that the God who started this great work in you
would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish
on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
PHILIPPIANS 1:6 (THE MESSAGE)
Be encouraged and know that as we bring our brokenness before God that we can trust that God will rebuild us – put us back together. As He did for me – as He did for King David – I close with King David’s words …
God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways;
I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
PSALM 18:20-24 (THE MESSAGE)
On the journey with you,