Editors Note: While providing baseball chapel for the Akron Aeros (now the Rubber Ducks), Shawn Lazarus also provided chapels for the visiting teams. One of those players he met was Patrick Stanley. The after-chapel conversation soon developed into a close friendship and the privilege of even baptizing Patrick in his home state of New Jersey. Patrick has turned his career experiences into a successful business training, coaching, and mentoring young people interested in playing baseball. But his favorite aspect of the opportunity, however, is mentoring lives and sharing Christ.
When we perceive to have “problems” in life, we can handle them two ways: on our own or with God. I spent 26 years handling life’s problems with the “you win some, you lose some” approach.
When I finally developed a relationship with God problems remained, but there was a peace put inside me while dealing with them. I was able to go after these problems with a new found strength. This strength was put to the test towards the end of the 2009 season when a nagging shoulder problem resulted in a serious surgery. This injury should have destroyed me physically, mentally, and emotionally. In my old approach this would have appeared to be a major roadblock to everything I have wanted in life; baseball.
I should be a wreck (since it eventually led to my retirement from baseball), but I am at peace. I am excited because I know God is behind this. I know God is going to use this for something amazing in my life. There is a rational explanation to why I am not sad and angry about this.
People may call my “peace”, brainwash, or suppressed feelings, or that I don’t love baseball as much as I claim. When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior and when I trust Him daily I experience what Is explained in Galatians 5:22-23
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
The truth is: I don’t control things, God does. I have given my life to God and I know I will be protected and guided. I trust in God’s plans for my life. Do you have that kind of peace? God & I desperately want you to experience it. Place your trust & hope in Jesus? Amen.
Psalm 13: 5-6 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.