A Glove in God’s Hand
By Nina Medrano –
With baseball season and our annual baseball game around the corner, there is much talk around our office about breaking in new baseball mitts.First, we rub leather lather soap all over the mitt. Then we place it on a dry kitchen towel on top of a cookie sheet and put it in the oven for four minutes at four hundred degrees, then remove.
After it cools off a bit, put on the mitt and continue rubbing loosening oil on it. This will help the mitt mold into the form of our hand. Next, we need to shape the ball into the mitt. We do this by rubbing more loosening oil on it. Then placing the ball inside in the center of the glove and wrapping it with a wide rubber band to secure it. Let it set for a couple of days.
Last but not least, to make sure that the ball lands perfectly in the softened mold, practice catching the ball repeatedly until it feels good to the catch.
As I pondered the process of softening a new glove, I could not help but see the similarities of God’s process in softening my heart. Ezekiel 11:9 says that God will take away the heart of stone, and give a heart of flesh.
In 1980, the year of the Census, God called me out of darkness. He took my stubborn, rebellious heart of stone and applied the Blood of Christ onto my heart. I still remember the moment when I felt this warm thick invisible substance touch the top of my head and drip down to my heart. I was broken and repented before God. Then, my heart became tender and responsive to His love. The same as a glove becomes soft and receptive to the player’s hand.
It wasn’t long before I was placed in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10 says that God refines us in the furnace of affliction.
“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” NIV New King James
I had walked with the Lord one year when our home caught on fire and my family and I lost everything. It was in this fire that I experienced the protection of God in my life. God sent His angels to watch over me as I healed from third degree burns.
The enemy tormented my soul to the point where I could not sleep without a light on and with my Bible on my chest.
One morning, I heard the shuffle of feet outside my bedroom windows. Unable to awaken, I tried to listen. Again I heard shuffling of feet coming from inside my friend’s home where I was staying. Then I heard soft voices coming towards my room. I heard one man ask the other man, “Is this the one we are sent to protect?”
“Yes, she is the one.”
“She is so young,” replied the first man.
“Yes, but she is a mighty warrior,” said the second man. Then, I felt a warm light fill my bedroom and I drifted into a deep slumber.
Later that day, when I was fully awake, I asked my friends, “Who was here earlier today?”
Puzzled, they said, “No one was here today.”
I shared with them my experience. We all came to the conclusion that God had sent His angels to keep watch over me.
Following the season of God’s refining furnace of affliction, the anointing oil of God’s Holy Spirit was applied to my heart, liberally. At the slightest hint of the Holy Spirit’s conviction in my life, my oiled heart melted in response. The shape of my heart was being changed and molded in His Hand. Then a new desire to catch souls for God’s Kingdom was embedded in my heart. I was recruited into God’s team.
This baseball season, as we stand overlooking the field, let your softened heart respond to the spiritual fields that are already ripe for harvest (John 4:35) and let’s practice, practice, practice, catching souls for His Kingdom.
Nina Medrano resides in West Texas and writes for her church Blog, “Tapestry Talk.” She currently writes children’s stories that teach and self-help articles for parents.