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Friday, July 6, 2012

Summertime and knuckleballs

 Take me out to the ball game!
  I was recently listening to a professional pitcher discussing the art behind his favorite pitch---the knuckleball.
  Pitching a baseball involves a complex technique that must be performed in the blink of an eye.  There are many different throws a pitcher must master to sneek the ball past the batter into the catcher's mit.  The fastball is tough but it's fair--a ninety five mile per hour bullet coming straight down the strike zone--fast but predictable. Curve balls are challenging because of the changing trajectory of the ball as it crosses the plate.  But the most challenging pitch to hit consistently is the knuckleball.  A well thrown knuckleball doesn't spin and tends to rise and fall in an unpredictable fashion. Even the best hitters can easily be faked out by a good knuckleball as it passes in the strike zone.
  Sometimes life pitches us knuckleballs.  Unpredictable circumstances that zoom past our lives before we ever see them coming.  Those unpredictable knuckleballs can rob us of rest as we try to close our eyes in slumber--financial dillemas, strained relationships, health problems, complicated decisions.
    In her book "My Father's House" Corrie Ten Boom recalls her childhood bedtime routines with her father. As she would lay her head down for rest, her father would place his hand over her head and pray a blessing over her. She would fall to sleep knowing that her father's hand was watching over her as she slumbered. Years later, while experiencing the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, Corrie could only fall to sleep by visualizing the hand of her heavenly Father placing His Hand over her head.  Corrie faced those "knuckleballs" by realizing that everything she encountered--death, disease, destruction-- all passed through the Hands of loving God. 

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  Romans 8:28-29

  Those that have put their trust in Christ can rest in the assurance of the providence of the One whose eyes never close in slumber. We can face those knuckleballs life pitches when we understand that nothing passes through our lives except what is ordained by a loving sovereign God. He knows the outcome of every throw before it ever leaves the hand of the pitcher. He is watching over our lives and working out the complexities of our lives for His puposes and His fame.   At all times God is in all things, through all things and above all things--even the knuckleballs.

Here are some principles to help face those unpredictable pitches that life throws us:

1.  Thanksgiving: Giving thanks that God is working out all things for good in our lives--our homeruns and our strikeouts (I Thess 5:17).
2.  Prayer: Asking The Lord to give the discernment and skill to identify, predict and decide those critical situations that we face (James 1:5)
3.  Execution:  Allowing God to give you the strength and courage to take your best swing  (Psalm 18:1)
4.  Faith and Trust:  To leave the results up to His purposes and His timing.

Batter Up!


  1. Thank you for your encouragement! I haven't slept in about 20 years! Lately it's gotten worse, with some nights of actual sleep in between. God is Good and I thank God for your obedience to put out there what has been put in your heart. Thank you.

  2. Thanks Roxey
    It's a blessing to know that God's in it--sleep or not.