To successfully swing a baseball bat, tennis racket or golf club you must develop the right grip. If your grip is wrong you will have a difficult time hitting the ball the way you want to. In fact, the most basic practice in those sports is to develop the right grip. I believe the same is true in life.

For most of us, we are living in the greatest collective disruption of our life. I talked to a pastor last week who was a pastor in Florida when his city was at the center of a devastating hurricane. He continues to pastor in Florida and his comment was this current pandemic is much more difficult than the hurricane.

When times are good it is easy to develop a heightened grip for things other than God. When hard days hit, when that which we are gripping the tightest rapidly changes, we are forced to evaluate our grip.

Perhaps this current pandemic is your opportunity to evaluate your grip. What are you gripping above all else? What is at the center of your life? We tend to “orbit” around certain people, pleasures or possessions.

In our solar system, planets have a predictable orbit because the sun is a stable gravitational “center.” What would happen to those planets if the sun suddenly disappeared? What happens when your gravitational “center” changes overnight? What keeps you grounded, moving forward, in a predictable pattern when life is drastically unpredictable?

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Perhaps because you know I am a pastor you are predicting where I am headed with this discussion. I’m OK with that. If you can predict where I am going does not mean where I am going is incorrect. I contend, based on facts and observations, if you want to live a secure, blessed, peace-filled, hope-filled, life you must place a personal relationship with God at the center of your universe. You must live under the grip of Jesus.

In John 6:35 Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Now that is what I call Wonder bread. If you eat this bread, you will never be hungry. Bread is a basic essential of life. When there is a famine in the world, the first thing that is shipped in is sacks of grain from which bread can be made. Jesus is what you and I really need to live.

In John 4:13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Water is even more essential than bread. You can go several weeks without food, but you cannot go more than three days without water. More than 70% of your body is made of water. Every cell in your body needs water to survive. We need Jesus to survive.

Jesus used three key words: come, believe, drink. I pray you will humbly come before God, you will believe Jesus loves you and gave his life for you, and you take action and drink his Word and follow his leadership.