My friend, may I ask you a question? Is there is no greater temptation than separation from God? There are many things in this life that appear tempting and alluring. The lusts of the body are strong and the lure of the world is ever-pressing. Did you know that Satan stalks about always looking for a way to pull us down, even ruin us?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
There is no greater temptation than separation from God. There are many things in this life that appear tempting and alluring. Yet, all things pale in comparison to the temptation that sometimes befalls the Christian to doubt God’s presence in his life.
Here’s story. Growing up, I played hardball on the sandlot level. The sandlot gave way to Little League and, eventually, that gave way to the high school diamond. Maturity, however, brought me to the church softball league. Although I was a pitcher in high school, I was what you called a utility player when it came to softball. I didn’t hit for power as most of my hitting was ground balls. If I could put one between third and short, I was usually satisfied. A one bagger was an achievement for me. At first, parked deep in right or center, I possessed a “beginner’s” level of comfort that comes with the understanding that, as a softball player, I was not the best and should no one hit the ball out to me that particular day, I would be satisfied to simply make it through the game without an embarrassing drop of a fly ball or tripping over my cleats. Over time, however, I got more and more confidence in my ability to play the outfield. Then, suddenly, that all changed. Just when I had reached the zenith of my confidence in the outfield, the team manager asked me to play the infield. Our second baseman was missing and there was no one else to play the position. I was asked to fill in. Here’s the thing; In the outfield if a batter come up that “pulls” the ball to the other field, you can feel pretty confident that you won’t be “getting” the ball on most pitches. Not the case in the infield and especially not at second base. It doesn’t matter if the batter is left-handed or right-handed. It doesn’t matter if the pitcher is pitching “in” or “out.” Second base is a hot-spot and the chances of making a mistake are high.
I knew this as I walked out onto the field and took my place near the second bag. Nonetheless, I had gained a certain level of confidence in the outfield and I figured that this would carry over no matter where I played. I knew how to field a ground ball and had a pretty good throwing arm. Second base? No problem. I could play second base. As the pitcher finished his last warm-up toss he turned around his infielders and checked their positions. “Brunner! Move closer to the bag!” He yelled. A bit startled and then embarrassed that I hadn’t positioned myself well, I obediently moved over. That’s when it hit. “I don’t know how to play second base.” Suddenly, I was separated from my confidence and the swagger was gone. “Oh please don’t hit the ball to me!”
Sometimes God, for His divine purpose and reason, asks us to “play second base.” He withdraws His grace from us and the door is open to temptations pouring in. Triggered by some trauma or great change in life, we become ripe for the ultimate test, life without knowledge that we are God’s and that He will always be there to protect us from every evil. In such a vulnerable state we can only hope that “no one hits the ball to us” at that moment in our life. Rest assured, however, even this temptation is under God’s protection. He has heard your cry. He will be your God again once this test has passed. Be strong and keep your eye on the ball.
We pray. Heavenly Father, we pray that You will never forsake us in times of trouble. We pray that You will always be at our right hand when sorrows and hardships mount in this life. But, O Lord, we also pray that You would give us the strength to stand fast even when we have to “play second base”. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.