Swinging

So I really don’t know a whole lot about baseball.  My baseball claim to fame was losing my lunch (I’m trying not to be graphic) at Yankee stadium when I was six years old.  That’s another story for another time.

But nephew #4 is on a high school baseball team.  And thanks to the wonders of technology, I got to log in and virtually “see” his game yesterday from 1200 miles away.  It’s not a live camera or anything, but lots of real-time graphics to let you know what’s happening on the field.  I knew he was at bat.  So exciting!  But then the screen said this:

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I was disappointed for him and for the team.  But the more I looked at that phrase, the more something intrigued me.  If you strike out swinging, doesn’t that mean you were all in? That you were facing that ball coming at you and giving it your best shot?

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You know, sometimes we aren’t “successful” in everything we attempt.  But isn’t it important that we were swinging and not just standing there?  Shouldn’t we be “all in” and give it our best shot?  And that includes things we attempt for the Lord.

God asks for our obedience, but our efforts don’t always look like successes. Discouragement lays the groundwork for not wanting to attempt anything again.  We lose heart or walk away, questioning what God was up to in our lives, wondering why we failed when we were giving it our all.  But the thing is, our views of success are different than God’s.  He could have a perfectly good plan for how He’s going to use our seeming strike-out.  Strike-outs can prepare us for the next thing, for the next opportunity for obedience.

I have to keep getting up to bat and giving it my best.  And if my plans don’t unfold the way I imagined they would, I want the graphic under my name to say. “She struck out swinging”.

Thanks for the reminder, Erick.  Keep swinging.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  Galatians 6:9 NLT

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will.  Then you will receive all that He has promised.  Hebrews 10:36 NLT

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope in salvation.  Romans 5:3-4  NLT

 

Life

Early morning thoughts about life.   My life in particular.

Not that that’s anything new.  I’m a thinker.  I think about a lot of things, my life being one of the more frequent subjects. It’s usually pretty entertaining.  At least to me. This morning’s thoughts were prompted by a verse I just read, one  I’m sure I’ve seen before as I’ve wandered through the Psalms, but today something stood out to me.

“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me – a prayer to the God of my life.”  Psalm 42:8

“The God of my life.”  MY LIFE.  My life, with all of it’s uniqueness.  Nobody else has my life.  This verse makes me stop and think about it – the beginning of it, the years I’ve lived, where I’ve gone, what I’ve done, what I’ve accomplished, the people I’ve known, what God has called me to do, where I am now, where I’m going, the life that belongs only to me.  There is no one else on earth who has had my same experiences, my thoughts, my dreams, my fears, my triumphs.  No one else even knows that I’m sitting here at this table at this moment.

This is my life.  And the two of us – me and God – are together in it.  He is the God of the life that I have been given.  Today.  In all that it holds.  The lovingkindness of this morning, and the song of tonight.

Maybe this morning I just needed to dwell on that for a few minutes.  I needed to be reminded of the gift I’ve been given – the very unique opportunity to live the life that God chose me for, to live it for His glory and His honor and not my own.  It may be a life unique to me, but I’m not alone in it.  There is Someone watching over it, directing it, blessing it.

The God of my life.

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You are my King, O God.  Psalm 44:4

For the Lord is our defense, and the Holy One of Israel is our King.  Psalm 89:18

For the Lord God is a sun and shield.  The Lord will give grace and glory.  No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  Psalm 84:11

 

 

Reminder

I know God cares about me.  Sometimes He reminds me of that in a special and personal way, and it makes me smile.

So, yesterday I was almost ready to dip my toes in the waters of “woe is me”.  I woke up to The Most Awful Sound coming from my air conditioning unit.  Now I realize that some of you are still wearing sweaters and wondering where Spring went, but where I live we’ve already experienced foreshadowing of August heat and humidity and my crankiness level is drifting a bit higher.  And I also know that air conditioning or potential lack thereof is totally a first world problem and I have much, much, much to be thankful for.

But when The Most Awful Sound shattered my quiet morning, thoughts of “what now?” and “why now?” and “how much is this going to cost?” and “why don’t I have a man around to help me with this?” and “just how hot is it going to get in here?” started to bubble to the surface.

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Oh, how quick we are to forget our blessings!  How quick we are to panic or despair and think the worst instead of using something like this as an opportunity to hand it over to the Lord.  Hasn’t He promised to take care of us?  Hasn’t He promised to work out everything for good in our lives?

He never said all things ARE good.  But He did say that He’d work them all out FOR our good.  If we let Him.  If we trust Him.  If we step back away from the waters of “woe is me”.

Yesterday was a chance for me to practice that.  And by later that afternoon, I had the nicest A/C service guy at my house who reminded me of my Dad (someone who knew everything about everything) and he took the time to explain it all and didn’t make me feel stupid and gave me all the information I needed to make the right choice as far as what to do next.  He couldn’t fix it right then, so I prepared to brace for a long night in my hot home.  We had temps in the 90’s the day before.

But God sent me an “I care about you” reminder note in the form of a strong breeze and temps in the 60’s coming through my windows all night.  And even though the A/C won’t be fixed for another few days, South Florida might have record breaking LOW temperatures tonight and maybe the next few nights.

And I’m smiling.  I still need to lay out a whole bunch of money for a new unit, but God will take care of me.  Like He always does.  Like He promises He will do.  He didn’t have to show me that with an unexpected May cold front and a service technician who reminded me of my Dad, but He did.

Thanks for the reminder, Lord.

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  2 Corinthians 4:17

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD!
He is their help and their shield.  Psalm 115:11