Athlete, Relax in the Arms of Your Father


Athlete, Relax in the Arms of Your Father

Jason Cooper

Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength …

New York Yankee Gary Sánchez hit a homerun in Game Two of the American League Division series this fall against the Indians. If Sánchez had been more relaxed on his swing, he would have fallen asleep. 

I think our three-year-old daughter can swing harder.

You might guess the best hitters grit their teeth and exert themselves the most. Not so. In baseball, if you try to hit the ball hard, you probably will not. 

Most often the best hitters have relaxed and simplified swings.

Ken Griffey Jr. had one of the best swings in baseball history. His swing was smooth, not strenuous.

Salvation is like a great swing, its strength is in its quietness.

It would seem like our redemption would come from our exertion. But it comes from a simple turn to God. It seems like our strength is in strain, but it is in trust. 

The Isaiah verse captures the paradoxical nature of the gospel. And it tells of your experience with sports too.

I bet some of the best games in your career have been ones where you were not necessarily trying harder than normal. When you had that great game maybe you were more relaxed and not straining to control it. Salvation is like that.

Because of a circumstance in my life, I had great fear throughout the month of June. I was not still. I slept only an hour some nights. I prayed heartfelt prayers of desperation. I strained to control, I worked hard to trust.

On June 30th, I felt the weight of the words, “Be still.” The fear that had been energizing me came to a halt. Suddenly I felt like I did not need to try. This happened to me rather than me straining for it. I finally rested on my Heavenly Father… 

I was reminded…

1) God can do more in two seconds than we can in infinite fumbling.

2) If we focus on our work, we can lose sight of God’s. 

3) It is our role to trust, not understand or control. 

4) One of the things God saves us from is excessive straining.

Athlete, quit your frantic fumbling. Breath out, breath in. <i>Sabbath,</i> which means rest, and focus on God’s work, not on your work. 

Gary Sánchez’s strength was in his quiet swing. Our strength is in quiet trust.


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