Links Daily Devotional

Breathe Deeply, This Is Going to Hurt

Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13, ESV)

One of the most dramatic events in this year’s NCAA D1 men’s tournament arose in the semifinal match between Beau Hossler of Texas and Andrew Levitt of USC, both seniors, former high school teammates, and good friends. When not at school, Hossler plays out of Mission Viejo Country Club, home club of Links Players region director Dereck Wong, so I watched with added interest.

Going where God wants you to go is often filled with challenges and sometimes pain.The match was all square after 14 holes. Then on fifteen, Hossler held on a little to his normally powerful swing and in the process dislocated his left shoulder. As much in shock as pain, Hossler still made a birdie and went one up. On the tee of the par-3 sixteenth, he hit a 5-iron and followed through, and the shoulder came out again. He writhed in pain, then recovered and even chipped in for another birdie to go two up with two to play.

Hossler’s drive on seventeen was excruciating for me to watch and worse for him to hit. He doubled over in pain. Could he even make another swing? The officials let the group behind play through while Hossler got medical attention. After about 15 minutes of waiting, he decided to play on. Watching him gather his courage as he stepped to the ball, then stepped away, then stepped back to the ball, then stepped away again, was tough.

Have you ever been in a place where you knew that to move forward would cause great pain? Paul told his friends that he was ready to go to prison—even to die!— for the name of Jesus. Prophets in Tyre had warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem, but he continued. Then Agabus (another prophet) showed Paul that he would be bound and handed over to the Gentiles. Still he traveled on.

Going where God wants you to go is often filled with challenges and sometimes pain. Look no further than Jesus, who went to the cross. He knew the pain was coming, but he was willing to bear it.

And so was Hossler, who took one more full swing. He even won his match, though he could not play in the finals. Was it worth it? It was to him.

What sacrifice are you willing to make in serving the Lord when you know pain is coming? Is your faith in him stronger than your fear of pain? Not all are called to suffer in that way, but the day may come when you are tested. If so, may you say with Paul, “I am ready.”

Lewis Greer
June 20, 2016
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