Links Daily Devotional

A True Struggle Brother Story

They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” (Psalm 92:14-15, NIV)

Golf and life are hard, and both get harder with age. That statement can be amended with a word of encouragement, though. With God, aging is not only manageable, but it is a thrilling journey with his hope and promise as our guide.

Now, allow me to digress for just a moment and tell you my best struggle brother story yet. First, there are bunch of us who play golf together, and we have adopted the moniker “struggle brothers” for obvious reasons. Remember the words above—“golf and life are hard, and both get harder with age.”

Dave is a good friend and fellow struggle brother. He is also a 4-handicap player who gets the ball around the course very well. Our fifteenth hole is a 420-yard par-4 with out of bounds hugging the left side of the fairway. Well, Dave hits a pull hook off the tee and winds up in a precarious situation. He is about two feet in bounds but is forced to stand with his back hard up against a homeowner’s fence, which defines the out of bounds.

Dave secures his stance and tries to chop down on the ball located just a foot in front of his feet. He chooses a 7-iron. The ball pops up and Dave double hits the ball (that’s right, “he T.C. Chen’ed it,” inadvertently commemorating the professional T.C. Chen who double hit a chip shot in a U.S. Open). Now Dave watches in horror as his double hit flies up in the air and lands on his shoulder. As he jumps to avoid further contact with this ball that is now his enemy, the unthinkable happens. His ball ricochets off his shoulder out of bounds into the neighbor’s yard.

Now, let’s pause for a moment to tally the carnage, as we can best sort it out. One was the drive. Two was the chop, which resulted in the double hit. That adds one penalty stroke. And the ball landing on his shoulder adds another (maybe–this particular combo doesn’t actually exist in the Rules and Decisions of Golf). Add a third penalty stroke for the OB and now poor Dave was hitting six down the fairway, which was a feat in itself since he had to play from the original position! On the green in seven and two putts gave him a lovely nine.

I don’t know about you, but when I heard this for the first time, I bent over in full belly laughter. I have been around this game for more than 60 years, and this was the first time I’d heard anything like this.

I need now to apply a spiritual truth and a learning experience from this struggle brother story. Walking with God in this thrilling adventure we call life, we always have hope in him. And the older I get, the more I want to depend on God and not fluke experiences or even the talent that he has loaned me.

The wonderful verse from Philippians 4:13 (NASB) says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Note that some would say all is well because this verse starts with “I” and ends with “me.” The truth is that we can do nothing important or eternally significant without Christ, who enables us and gives us the strength.

My greatest accomplishment is that I worship a God who knows me, warts and all, and still loves me. What about you?

Randy Wolff

June 3, 2013

Copyright 2013 Links Players International

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