The Reliever

Published on October 21, 2016 | By
Displaying The Cleveland Indians are heading to the World Series after taking down the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 5 yesterday. They haven’t been in this position since 1997, and haven’t won the World Series in 68 years. Cleveland has a great manager, Terry Francona, and talented players across the board, but the key to their success has been their bullpen. They have relied heavily on their middle relievers and closers, with their setup man, Andrew Miller, leading the way.
Miller won the ALCS MVP award for his performances against the Blue Jays, pitching in four of the games and allowing zero runs with 14 strikeouts. Normally starting pitchers get all of the attention, but it’s pretty intriguing to see the Indians get such great support from their bullpen. There is great value in having reliable relief pitching because those guys come in when the starter is struggling, tired, or just can’t continue any longer. They come through at different times each game and in unique situations, but they remain ready to be called upon to offer relief.

You and I can probably relate more to the starting pitcher. We have days where we are “standing on the mound,” exhausted, struggling, and in need of relief. But we don’t always admit we need help, so we keep on throwing balls instead of strikes. We think we can keep going, but the answer is to admit we need a reliever to come in and rescue us.

The truth is, when we are in situations where the anxiety, pressure, stress, pain, or exhaustion are too much, we need to hand off the ball and let Jesus provide us the relief He offers. He is a reliever who is ready to be called upon, but we have to let go and make the call to the bullpen.

The Bible makes it clear that relief, peace, and rest are found in our loving God. Psalm 55:22 (ESV) says, "Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved."

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) tells us, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you."

And Psalm 68:19 (NLT) brings us encouragement with these words: "Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior! For each day He carries us in His arms."

The Cleveland Indians have figured out the right formula to win games based on a major reliance on their relievers. The relief they’ve provided has given the team great success.

Today, let’s be encouraged to recognize where we find ultimate relief when we’re struggling. We must let go and trust the ultimate reliever. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I admit I'm in need of relief. I desire the peace, rest, and comfort that are found as I place my trust in You. I pray that You would be my reliever as I submit and surrender to You. I don't want to live this life in my own strength. Thank you for being there for me. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.


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