Links Daily Devotional

The Reason

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

By now, if you’re a golf fan, you’re aware the world has a new No. 1 women’s player. Her name is Stacy Lewis.

By now, if you’re a golf fan, you’re aware that Lewis’ career trajectory has included the wearing of a corrective back brace for years when she was an amateur, helping straighten the scoliosis with which she was diagnosed when she was 11.

By now, if you’re a golf fan, you know too that the tournament Lewis won to catapult her to the world’s top spot, included hardship of its own—an obscure two-shot penalty levied against her caddie on Saturday, leaving her four shots back of leader Ai Miyazato and requiring a stunning charge from Lewis on Sunday to get the job done.

And by now, if you’re a golf fan, you know that Lewis takes all of this in the stride of someone far older, far more experienced. Perspective does often come with age. But more commonly it comes from hardship. And Lewis has seen her share.

“Everything happens for a reason,” she said after Sunday’s win at the RR Donnelley Founders Cup.

You don’t have to be faith-filled to trot out that adage. But you do have to be steadfast in your faith to recognize that God takes even the worst circumstances and redeems them—and to allow them to teach you rather than embitter you.

One way Lewis has cultivated this sense is to put herself in places even more demanding than her own. In December 2010, she went to Africa with Hall of Famer Betsy King, where Lewis brought gifts to her Rwandan sponsor child and her family. “The worst part,” Lewis wrote then, “was leaving them.” On Sunday, Lewis spoke reverently to the surviving LPGA founders who were in attendance. “What you did was way harder than anything I do right now,” she told them, referring to the difficulty of paving the way for female athletes when there was little money and little respect to go around.

Many of us choose the opposite course. We look at those who have it materially better than we do and say, “That’s what I want. If I believe it, I can achieve it. Now stand back and watch me!”

Stacy Lewis sees what she has accomplished and the difficulty in getting there all the same: as a gift. She would not have the trophies if not for the troubles. She’s not afraid to look difficulty squarely in its dark eyes. She’s just unwilling to call hardship the end. For there is always a purpose beyond the circumstances.

Jeff Hopper

March 20, 2013

Copyright 2013 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.