We’ve all had a mountaintop experience. These moments are extremely important for us to have because they are beautiful reminders of how awesome our God is. It’s on the mountaintop that we find ourselves on our knees in awe of Him.
But in the valley, we also find ourselves on our knees in complete and utter dependence on Him. It’s here where we experience complete humility — recognition that nothing is of our own doing but only by the doing of our Heavenly Father who has given it all so that we can experience and enjoy this amazing life.
Aug. 10, 1989, was one of those mountaintop experiences for me. This was my comeback day — the day only 10 months after the doctors told me it would take a miracle for me to ever pitch again, yet there I was. I remember as I took the mound that day, I was singing in my mind and heart, “Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart.” That Henry Smith song continues to show the reason of our gratitude: “Because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.” And that’s what this life is all about — everything revolves around Him.
I stood on the mound that day with an overwhelmingly grateful heart that God had given me another chance to play the game I loved. I also recognized the fact that He had placed so many amazing people in my life who were all part of a miracle, getting me out of surgery and back onto the mound.
Five days later I saw an even more beautiful picture, even though the world may have seen it as a tragedy. It was there, only days after I experienced my mountaintop on the mound that I found myself having fallen off the mound (quite literally) and face-down in the valley, my arm broken in the act of throwing a pitch. I was on my knees in absolute dependence on God, who is the only One who could get me through what I was about to face.
My response to God when I broke my arm was, “God, what are You up to now?” I think I knew at that moment that there was obviously something going on in my life that was way bigger than baseball. It was a wonderful glimpse of God’s power and plan, but it was just a glimpse. Soon after, I spiraled off to a very difficult place and struggled an awful lot for the next two years.
But God is faithful. He showed me that I was far from deserted, and continued to bring so many wonderful people to help and encourage both my wife, Jan, and me along the way.
My mountaintop moment on the mound, quickly followed by my fall off of the mound and onto my face, is a perfect picture and reminder for me to trust God is all circumstances. Because of that experience, I began to understand what faith is, how God shows up in our lives, and how He chooses to use His people to bless others. God showed up with skin on as I experienced His amazing love and grace through the people He brought me that really did love and care for me. And not only did they love me when I was on the mountaintop, but more importantly, they loved me when I was in the valley.
I only hope that Jan and I can be that same encouragement to others on their journeys. We encountered that grace on Aug. 15, 1989, and we’ve been committed to helping others experience it ever since.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” — Lamentations 3:22-23
— Dave Dravecky, former MLB pitcher
Check out Dave’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/davedravecky/
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