Jeff Bianchi - Seasons Of Surrender

Jeff Bianchi got signed by the Milwaukee Brewers organization and had a great rookie season. Then a series of injuries, with their attendant surgeries and rehabs, kept him on the sidelines. What was God doing? “The Lord really revealed a lot to me,” says Bianchi. “I had such a stronghold on this game of baseball that it was consuming me, and it was wrecking me; it was tearing me down. God was saying, ‘Trust me with this game.’ And. . . I did.”

What happened next seems somewhat “storybook;” it can’t be expected that God will do for everyone in every case what He did for Jeff at that point, but when we hold onto things, place things on the altar instead of Him, often He will lead us into “dying to” that thing. He appears to take it away from us, but then many times gives it right back once we straighten out our priorities and surrender the thing we used to venerate or even worship in His place.

What happened next? “I think I put being in the big leagues on such a pedestal that it couldn’t live up to my expectations,” says Bianchi with a knowing smile. And while that may seem like the story ends on a low note, it’s what Bianchi says next that holds the key: “Trials are good. They make you who you are. I think I was able to share the Gospel with more people while I was hurt than when I was active. I find hope in the fact that God has the best plan for me.” Bianchi then nods emphatically. “No matter what.”

—Ken Hughes