Kipling wrote that triumph and disaster are two impostors and are to be treated just the same.  Happily-ever-after is a myth.  Real victory does not come without terrific struggle.  We need to understand this to make it successfully through this world.
Such are some of the conclusions found in the book, “When You Can’t Come Back” by Dave and Jan Dravecky.

I read this book recently and recommend the book for you to read.  It is a story of courage and grace.  Dave Dravecky was formerly an all-star pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.  He became a national hero when he came back from cancer to pitch in the big leagues. He underwent surgery on his pitching arm in October of 1988.  It was thought that he would never pitch again.  On August 10, 1989, Dravecky did pitch again and won. However, five days later, while pitching his second start since cancer surgery, he broke his arm.
It was the end of his baseball dream. On November 13, 1989, he announced his retirement from baseball.

“When You Can’t Come Back” deals with depression, burnout, stress, and suffering.  It is a very honest story of Jan’s depression and the amputation of Dave’s arm.  Dave and Jan Dravecky are great people of faith.  Their story is how to hold onto faith in spite of hardships.  The Draveckys found great strength and comfort in the teachings of the Bible and in the life of  Jesus.  “Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8)  Since the Teacher suffered, why should not the students suffer?  Suffering is a part of this life in this world.  Paul speaks of us as being ‘clay jars’ or ‘tents’ both are very fragile, easily broken, blown away.  James speaks of us as being ‘mist’, here today and gone tomorrow. Our existence here is so uncertain and weighted down with a lot of sorrow.

Let me share some of the Biblical passages which gave the Draveckys courage to keep on keeping on.  They studied the life of Job and his insistence as to ‘why’ he suffered.  Life is a puzzle and many pieces don’t fit.  Job was never given the piece to answer his ‘why’.  Job tried to find answers but instead he got a relationship with God.  They yielded to the verses in Proverbs 3: 5-6,”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  They tried to practice what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles , so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”   Suffering should cause us to depend more on God.  We should not be so preoccupied with our own needs, but be compassionate for the needs of others.

Dave summed it all up when he wrote:  “It’s hard to understand the suffering in this life…You can’t blame God for it. Sooner or later our life on this earth is going to pass…The only thing that will matter then is whether or not we’ll get to heaven…I believe in the eternal hope of heaven. When I die, that’s where I’m going, because heaven is my home.”  Page 122

We can learn from the faith of the Draveckys, how Christians can deal with pain and uncertainty.  TRUST IN THE LORD.


  1. Max, you and I know well the blessings that come from suffering. A passage that sustained me during the 17 years of Evelyn’s illness, “My God will supply your every need according to HIS riches in glory.” Now thirty one years later of being a
    widower, I have a second passage, “Once I was young, but now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor the seed of God begging bread.” KJ version of course! Keep up the good work and making precious memories even today.

  2. I am learning more and more as time goes on how God uses suffering to teach us things that otherwise, we could never grasp. Joni Eareckson-Tada says that we should not only praise God IN our suffering but also FOR our suffering. It is only in the bed of affliction that we are pushed into the arms of the Savior where we find grace and comfort and it helps us know Jesus better.

    Thank you for your weekly food-for-thought. It is wonderful to ponder Jesus!

    So very sorry to hear that Joann has been ill again and I can’t believe that you managed to escape it. I will be praying for both of you. Missed you today.

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