I always loved sports growing up. I played them all! There was only one sport that I had trouble with, and that was baseball. If you’re a baseball fan, I’m sorry. I’m just not one of them. Let me explain.
At around 9 years old, I started playing America’s pastime. I quickly learned that I loved playing infield, outfield, and even serving as the pitcher, but I was terrified of batting. Who doesn’t like batting? That’s the best part, right?!
I’m a fairly large guy, but at the time I was quite skinny and frail. I honestly don’t know how, but that small hard rubber baseball had me shivering every time I stepped up to the plate. Embarrassing, I know. As I stood in the furthest corner of the batter’s box, I prayed to God the ball wouldn’t hit me.
It wasn’t only embarrassing to me; it was pretty crushing to my father as he cheered me on, doing anything he could to get me to stand in confidence.My dad so badly wanted me to get over my fear of the baseball that he came to me one day with a “bright” idea.
He called me out to the backyard at our house where we would often practice. As I set up to bat, he said, “Today we’re going to do something a little different. Today, you’re going to get over your fear of this baseball!”
Of course, that sounded like a great idea to me. But, what in the world would help me get over my fear?
My dad proceeded to say, “I’m going to stand a few feet away and hit you with this baseball; then gradually backup and hit you a little harder, over and over until you’re used to it.”
What?! I was shocked by his words. This didn’t sound like a good method for me to get over my fear of getting hit … by getting hit?!
But the truth was, I myself was so tired of being crippled by fear that I was up for just about anything.
What my dad was trying to get me to understand was, getting hit isn’t going to break me.
How many times have we backed away from what God is calling us to do because we think it’s going to break us?
Every time I stepped up to that plate I was putting on a uniform of fear. I wonder, how many victories do we miss out on because we’re too afraid to step up to the plate? Every day, we have the opportunity to say YES to God and to step out of fear and into faith. But, let me tell you from my own personal experience, it’s rarely easy. God calls us to do stretching things not to tease us, but because He wants greater things for us.
God is going to throw some baseballs your way. Not to harm you, but to stretch you!
Confidence doesn’t always come with the pitch, it comes when I swing! Sometimes, I miss. Sometimes, I nail it. But, each time I swing, it stretches me and helps me become more dependent on God.
I love this scripture:
“Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 (MSG
The word “cultivate” means to “try to acquire or develop.” This tells me if we are to cultivate God-confidence, then we actually have to work at it and develop it.
So, what can you do today to cultivate that God-confidence a little bit more? Start by saying, “God, whatever it looks like, you have my YES.”
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