Daily Devotionals

Have you ever been thrown a curveball?

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“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5: 16-18


Something that has been a huge part of my life is the game of baseball. Starting from tee-ball, to little league, and then to high school, with some summer ball mixed in there, baseball has been something that was very important to me. It would be shocking to go back and look at how much time and money I have put into baseball with all the summer baseball tournaments that caused me to miss church, all the three-hour practices, and the workouts before and after school. But baseball has also brought me lots of great memories, from playing backyard baseball with my friends, to the PBL days, and to winning a state championship in 2017.


For most of my life, I probably would’ve said that my identity was in baseball. 


I have had aspirations to play college baseball pretty much my whole life; oftentimes, I would even slack off on my school work and tell myself, “Its fine, I don’t need good grades if I’m just going to play baseball in college.” Luckily, my parents would get onto me for that. Eventually, the summer after my sophomore year came around, which is the time that I would say is most important for college recruitment. I was pretty confident that I was going to get at least an offer or two, but the summer came to an end and still nothing. By then, I was super frustrated and angry. I felt so much pressure to play college baseball, and, by not getting any offers, I had felt that I let many people down. 


Eventually, I came to the realization that I didn’t have to play college baseball and that I would not be letting anybody down if I didn’t. I also realized that God has his own plan for me that is way bigger than any plan that I could dream up. God is going to use me, and I need to put my identity in God not baseball. At this point, I could continue to be frustrated and mad, or I could realize how blessed I have been to spend the last 15 or so years playing a game that I love with great friends and great coaches.  


Oftentimes, we find ourselves asking God, “Why can’t I get what I want for once?” Or maybe we might start to ignore Him, or even doubt His existence, but…. No matter how much you plan ahead, life will always find a way to catch you off guard. 


Two years ago, I would have said that there was a 90 percent chance I would play college baseball, but I am now on a different path, and I know that God will use me on the path.  So, I will pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances knowing that God has plans for me. 


Maybe your career isn’t what you wanted, or maybe you are going through hard times; even though things, oftentimes, do not go our way, and plans change. We must remember that God is in control and is using us in ways we can’t even imagine.  


So I will leave you with this question: Have you ever been thrown a curveball? And if so how did you react?  


Prayer:  Lord, I give thanks in all my circumstances today.  I know You have great plans for me.  Amen.  


Submitted by Leighton Long