My Story: Mark Appel

Mark Appel is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.


In June 2013 pitcher Mark Appel was the drafted by the Astros in the first overall pick.


“It was one of the best days of my life,” comments Mark.


After spring training in 2014, Mark was focused on having “his year;” instead he was sent to a Minor-league team in a California city known for high winds that bedeviled ballplayers, especially pitchers: Lancaster.


After a week of playing in this new city Mark realized that the rumors were true.


“These were some of the worst weather conditions you can imagine for a pitcher,” he remembers.


With all the expectations of a number one draft pick weighing on him, Mark’s performance struggled. Over the next six games, Mark gave up enough runs for two seasons of pitching. It seemed disastrous, and his spirit was breaking, but God was creating something beautiful in Mark. And it didn’t happen on the field, it happened in the locker room.


“I believe that moment was what God had been preparing me for,” says Mark. “Up to that point my prayer was, ‘God, get me out of Lancaster.’ After that day it was, ‘God, thank You for what You’ve given me.’ That’s when I started to enjoy Lancaster.”


“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” —Philippians 4:12-13


“So often we pray for a blessing,” says Mark, “and then when we get the blessing we forget the Giver of the blessing.”


Watch Mark tell his story of God’s redemption, filling him with peace that surpasses his circumstances:


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