Links Daily Devotional

Ready and Not

For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10b, NIV)

So just how good is Justin Thomas?

I know, you’ve heard this question before. About Anthony Kim. About Rickie Fowler. About Ryu Ishikawa. And these are just the men. The stars on the LPGA Tour seem to rise that much sooner and urge the same questions.

In recent years, a significant part of our fascination with professional golf has to do with how well players are performing early in their careers and how likely it is that they will one day join history’s greats.

God is preparing us more each day, completing our next phase of training just in time for what he knows is coming.We’re impatient for the answers to our questions, and we’re not the only ones. Thomas told reporters after his win in Maui on Sunday that it has been frustrating to see his friends (read especially Jordan Spieth here) go so far so fast, while he had “only” been able to notch two wins before this weekend. Thomas is 23.

In many ways, Thomas is the pup his age suggests. But he’s winning at a clip surpassing that of Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and the aforementioned Fowler. Part of his success may come from the fact that he sees his own immaturities, which is precisely what he called that frustration born from impatience. When we are weak—and when we see that weakness for what it is—we stand a chance to be made strong.

You may recognize this as a biblical principle. Indeed, just before the apostle Paul wrote those words, he went this far: “For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.”

It is true that God prepares each one of us for the work he has in store for us, but it is probably equally true that we duck out of that work if we can. We foresee too much expectation and responsibility. We’re hesitant about too spiritual a calling. But most of all we disqualify ourselves by cataloguing our weaknesses: “Can’t do that. And that. And that.”

Where Justin Thomas’ career will end is speculation. But what we can see in his words and in his play is that, while he knows he yet has weaknesses and immaturities to surmount, he’s willing to face the biggest challenges.

In the kingdom of God, we are all ready and not. But when we are busy focusing on the not, God is focusing on the ready. He is preparing us more each day, completing our next phase of training just in time for what he knows is coming. Trust him in this. Ask for his vision and his strength. Then wake up and go to work.

Jeff Hopper
January 11, 2017
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