I was just put on the injured list…
I was pitching well that day until I threw a couple of pitches that felt funny, as if something was off. At that moment, I felt that I needed to make a smart choice and come out of the game. Even if I was so close to the end of my day pitching anyways. Later, after getting some results, I found out that pitching would have to be put on hold for some time. The elbow needed some rest and recovery.
My initial reaction to this kind of news is to break it down in my head. How serious is this? I try not to immediately go to the worst-case scenario but instead stay optimistic. Mainly because I felt confident in how it felt. Whether the outcome is good or bad, I know I can trust God — that He’ll put me exactly where I need to be in this situation. He won’t give me more than I can handle (with His help), so I seek God and in that, I’m able to experience His peace. He is my comfort and my safe place when my thoughts threaten to go awry.
And I know that at the end of the day, it’s just a game, and this is just a small hiccup. My career in the MLB is a journey, and something good always results in any situation. It always has in the past.
In 2016, I experienced a situation similar, though worse, than a sprain. It was my first time in big league camp and I was working hard to prove myself. I was out shagging balls and went to go for a flyball when I collided with another pitcher. I ended up breaking my left wrist. In that moment, I was devastated. Here I was, my first time at big league camp and I was about to be put into a cast. I was out for eight weeks.
Though that news was really hard, I’m now thankful for that part of my journey. During that time, I learned how to fully submit my plans to God and know that, while it really did stink to be out, there was a greater purpose for it all. I knew it didn’t mean God was mad at me or punishing me for something.
Instead, I was able to use that time to grow closer to God by spending more time in His Word and fellowshipping with others. He took me out of my routine and the busyness of the baseball schedule to allow me extra time to focus on Him. God granted me a sound mind so I could go into the facility each day and figure out how to become stronger, both physically and spiritually. At the end of the year, when I was able to return to the mound, I pitched really well and even made my major league debut!
In the middle of a hard moment, it can be tough to see clearly. But once you’re able to grasp the concept of your reality and accept what you’ve been dealt, you can start to deal with it. I’ve been blessed with the fulfilled dream of playing in the major leagues. Remembering this truth, as well as the ways in which God has brought me out of hard scenarios like the injury I experienced in 2016, makes this injury a lot easier to face.
You’re rarely going to have a perfect result on a given day; it’s not normal to receive the best-case scenario. This journey isn’t always about that. It’s about growing in my career, yes, but more importantly, it’s about going deeper in my walk with Christ and in His Word. I hope that He continues to show me how to see things from a different lens — His lens. It’s amazing to see how God works when you submit to Him.
— Luke Weaver, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher
Luke Weaver is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Luke’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/luke-weaver/
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