A League of Their Own has always been one of my favorite movies. Tom Hanks plays Jimmy Dugan, a washed up former Major League ball player whose career was cut short by his own drinking problem. He’s given one last shot at a career in baseball when he’s offered a position as manager of the Rockford Peaches, a team in the newly formed All American Girls Baseball League. Gina Davis plays Dottie Hinson, the catcher for the Peaches and the best player in the league. When her husband returns from the war, Dottie decides to quit just before the playoffs are set to begin. In my favorite scene, as Dottie is about to leave the team, Jimmy looks at her and says, “I never thought of you as a quitter. Baseball gets inside of you. It’s what lights you up.” Dottie responds with, “It just got too hard.” Jimmy replies with, “It’s supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.”
So often I avoid doing things that seem “too hard.” I fail to remember that “the hard” is what makes it great. And more importantly, “the hard” is what makes God great. If I never choose to do hard things that stretch me beyond my own gifts, talents, and abilities, I’ll never tap into the power of the living God in me – the same power that gave sight to the blind, calmed the sea, and raised the dead. I’m called to do hard things so that my name becomes less and God’s name becomes more. It’s supposed to be hard so I’m forced to rely on God. I’m forced into a place of trust and dependence on His strength and power. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” And the more I learn to lean on God and trust in Him, the more my faith grows. The more my faith grows, the more God “gets inside of me” and “lights me up inside.”
There’s no doubt that taking the risk to do something beyond my own ability is scary. Trusting God takes courage. However, God knows what He is doing! Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God knows more than we do. He is a good God. He can be trusted. Yes, it is difficult to risk failure by stepping out in faith to do the hard things that God may call us to, but it isn’t really our reputation on the line. It is God’s! If we follow God’s lead, we can’t fail! And remember, any success we experience is really God’s victory, not ours. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” In our fragile and weak moments, God’s power is able to shine all the more.
Where my abilities end, God’s begin.
When I am incompetent, God is competent.
When I am incapable, God is more than able.
When I am weak, God is strong.
When I am fearful, God is bold and courageous.
When I tend to back down, God is more than a conqueror.
When I am powerless, God is powerful.
When I’m ready to quit, God “lights me up inside” and provides the hope and passion to persevere.
What “hard thing” might God be calling you to do? And what obstacles keep you from stepping out in faith?