Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: March 30th

Fear

I remember a lot of my years playing Little League baseball in my home town. I remember the kids and even some of the coaches. I remember Don Morrow telling us to count the hops on ground balls. Not so we could actually know how many times the ball hopped, but so we would be concentrating on the ball enough to field it without missing it.

I remember one particular practice where Mr. Morrow was hitting ground balls to us infielders. I was surrounded by my friends; Bobby Thornberry, Terry Baker, Todd Johnson. We were all working at the thirdbase side of the infield. Mr. Morrow hit a hard bouncing ball to Terry Baker. Terry started counting the hops and prepared to field the ball and throw it to first base. Then something happened.

The ball hit something in the infield and took an unfortunate hop, hitting Terry right square on the nose. The blood began to flow almost immediately. Mr. Morrow came rushing out brandishing a handkerchief. This was not the day of cell phones or even C. B.'s. Mr. Morrow told Terry to hold the handkerchief on his nose while he drove the boy home. Practice was over.

Terry was different after that. He was afraid to get in front of a ground ball and started playing everything from the side. Needless to say he was moved to the outfield. Fear can do that. Fear of injury, fear of the unknown. It can make a ballplayer tentative. It can make a ballplayer make errors. Same in life. One bad experience and people are gunshy, especially in the church. Fear is the church's greatest enemy. It reduces strong saints of God to immovable and uncooperative servants.

There is a remedy. "Love has been perfected among us in this; that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." 1 John 4:17, 18 If our fear in service exceeds our love for the Lord, do we truly love Him?

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