Links Daily Devotional

‘Sometimes You Just Need to Hit a Shot’

“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16, NASB)

You seasoned golfers know what I mean. There comes a time when playing safe or laying up and trying to guide the ball just does not work. You simply need to hit a good shot. No other options.

We are never sure of all the answers, but our hope and trust is in Jesus, who is the Answer.I still remember a moment when this became so evident. It came during one of the very few times I had a chance to win a PGA Tour golf tournament. It was on the fifteenth hole during the last round of the Memphis Open at the old Colonial Country Club. It happened to be the toughest hole on the course. Tight and out of bounds to the left and heavy rough and trees on the right. Uphill and 450 yards long. I knew earlier in the round that this hole was coming. Now I stood on the tee. My shot.

My good caddie handed me the driver as we both glared down that narrow fairway. His words of encouragement were, “We’ve worked hard to get to this point. Sometimes you just need to hit a shot. Now is the time, and you are ready.”

A few weeks ago I studied with a good group of men who were answering questions in the Links Players Friday Bible study concerning thinking like a pro. The question contained the challenge of knowing when to step out in faith and trust God. What are we to do, and how do we do it? The answer is filled with a great challenge because of the difficulties on all sides. What is the application in trusting God?

The answer came from a most unusual place: our buddy who was following our discussion from his hospital bed and listening on his cell phone. The hospital has become his home for the past year. The challenges he faces every day we could only imagine. And now from the cell phone we heard these remarkable words of encouragement that epitomized professional thinking. He simply said, “Just grab Jesus’ right hand and go. Trust him for your answer.” Sometimes you just need to hit a shot and step out in faith. Maybe that’s why they call it faith—because we are never sure of all the answers, but our hope and trust is in Jesus, who is the Answer.

But one thing is for sure. Faith has to be translated into trust. Trust is shown by our actions not our talk. We have to respond. “Just grab Jesus’ right hand and go. Trust him for your answer.” As Esther boldly said, “And if I perish, I perish.”

As I grab his hand and trust, my actions do not earn his favor or blessing; they position me to receive what grace intends to give. St. Augustine was right: “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”

I say go for it! Don’t lay up or play it safe. Now is the time to hit a good shot.

Postscript: My caddie did find the ball after that drive, but no victory that week. Still, the lesson learned then continues to be valuable to this day. Just “grab Jesus’ right hand and go.” God has a plan for the next shot.

Randy Wolff
April 4, 2016
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