Beautiful Testimony

“This is not a post about sports. This is a story about redemption. This is for every person who thinks there’s no hope. 

The Texas Rangers are going to the World Series to play the San Francisco Giants. Let the record stand that I’m rooting for the Giants.  But it’s hard not to cheer for Josh Hamilton, the Rangers amazingly talented outfielder. 

Josh had the world ahead of him as a high-school senior. Picked no. 1 in the 1999 draft by Tampa Bay, it was a dream come true for the teenager. The Devil Rays believed he was such a complete package that they dubbed him the “future of the franchise.” He could pitch – clocked at 96 miles an hour – but most of the baseball world salivated even more over his offensive skills. He could do it all. But “pride goes before the fall,” and fell he did.

 His $3.9 million signing bonus fueled a dangerous lifestyle that would send his childhood hopes and dreams spiraling away. Who knows what happened. It could have been bad friends or just poor choices — but he began to use drugs – and then abuse them – and before long he was addicted to crack cocaine. He not only lost his swing – he lost his job. He was kicked out of baseball.
He says that he was “a man with no soul.”

For three years he didn’t pick up a bat, a ball or a glove. For many kids, that’s the end of the story. It just turns into the final chapter of a story we hear all too often – broken relationships, legal trouble and sickness eventually followed by a tragic death. But this
 story is entirely different. In 2005, God got a hold of this broken young man and brought Josh back on the team.

He found his Savior, thanks to the tough love of his grandmother and the strong witness of Raleigh homebuilder Michael Dean Chadwick, who himself battled drug addiction. Chadwick told Josh, “either die or get well.”  A
nd getting well-centered around Jesus, Josh eventually began to play ball and found his skills again. The Reds took a chance and signed him and before long, he was in their outfield. In his first month in the big leagues, he took Rookie of the month awards. He has been a multi-year All star, the ALCS MVP and  leader on the Rangers’ team.  

And when the Rangers clinched, they didn’t celebrate with champagne. Out of honor for their recovering slugger, they popped the bubbly on ginger ale.

 

Today, he is honest about his past. And he is bold about his Savior. “I haven’t gotten tired of telling this story yet,” Hamilton said to the Dallas News. “It’s my obligation – no, it’s my privilege – to tell it.”

This Red Letter Believer is a Christian who not only talks about his faith, but he clings to it and lives it.  Josh, may your home runs be many and your walk be pure.”    Selected

 

I copied this article from the Red Letter Believer e-mail.  It thrilled my heart.  I pray that it will move yours too.

One Response to “Beautiful Testimony”

  1. Thanks for sharing that story Max …. I think you know how excited I get about people’s personal testimony…. there is so much strength that glows and draws others as they come to the understanding ‘They are not alone’ in their struggles … and the Miracles of answered prayers surround us ….. it is important to share the goodness of what God has done (and is continuing to do) …. What a great witness for our youngsters ….

    Keep Smiling,Keep Praising, Keep Sharing The Son-Shine …

    Bobby

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