Links Daily Devotional

Blessing God

Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. (Psalm 145:2, ESV)

The first two months of the year took me on the road for 41 days to Florida, Southern California, Phoenix, and Maryland. Most of these days were spent with men and women involved with Links Fellowships. I enjoyed connecting with old and new friends on the golf course, over tea, and sharing meaningful conversation around wonderful meals.

Blessing God reminds us that we have the privilege to be a conduit of God’s love behind the walls of our golf clubs, and beyond.Most recently, my three-week swing through the Southwest brought back many memories of tour life, both positive and negative. While it’s second nature for me to leave home for long stretches at a time, living out of suitcase and in different beds is hard. As I jumped back into my life in West Michigan upon my return, it amazed me how the experiences of those travels became distant memories so quickly.

A pastor friend often says that our strengths can also become our greatest weaknesses. I have found this to be true in many aspects of my life. My years on tour turned me into a confident traveler—one who is accustomed to being alone and getting things done. There is goodness to these qualities, but what happens is that I often get so focused on accomplishing a task that I forget to bless and praise God for the little moments that happen along the way, whether I accomplish what I set out to do or not.

Jewish tradition teaches that God’s people are to bless the Lord no less than 100 times a day. John Piper explains, “To bless God means to recognize his great richness, strength, and gracious bounty and to express our gratitude and delight in seeing and experiencing it.” I was reminded of the importance of expressing gratitude and delight after receiving a lively email from one of our Fellowship leaders a week after I had spent time with her and her Fellowship.

Her delight exploded off her email as she blessed God for where he is using her and others to bring the influence of God’s Word to women at Ironwood Golf Club. As I read four accounts of how women found this growing Links Fellowship, I was struck by how God really does work through everyday moments to impact another person’s heart for eternity.

Her email shared how a man who had been deeply affected by a Links Easter sunrise service last year wanted a spiritual network of friends for his mother. Through the help of a friend and the Links Players website, he tracked down this Fellowship in his mother’s club. She came and was curiously excited about a new spiritual journey. While on the driving range, another woman expressed a desire to join the study but was concerned she wasn’t spiritually ready. Enthusiastically she was told, “Come as you are tomorrow! You are welcome here.” A guest of another woman that day was invited and showed up radiant with joy for the opportunity to be included. And lastly, a woman visiting in the desert for several weeks found her way to the Fellowship and her presence added a wonderful addition to the spirit of the conversation around the table.

I share this today as much for my benefit as for yours. I too easily get focused on myself and the things I believe need to be accomplished, instead of paying attention to where God is working around me. Blessing God daily, even in the middle of hard circumstances, opens our hearts and minds to a deeper level of being engaged with him in our everyday life. Blessing God reminds us that we have the privilege to be a conduit of God’s love behind the walls of our golf clubs, and beyond. I’m jumping on board with these women: “This is really, really fun!”

Tracy Hanson
February 25, 2016
Copyright 2016 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.