This week, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton helped lead the American League to a 4-3 victory in major league baseball’s All-Star Game. Hamilton is the 2008 Home Run Derby runner-up and a 2008 league leader in RBIs and total bases. What is most impressive about Hamilton, however, is his transformation from a nearly-dead drug addict to an all-star baseball player. A transformation that was made possible by the love of Jesus Christ.
In an article for ESPN The Magazine, Hamilton described himself as “a dead man walking.” When Hamilton and his parents were involved in a serious auto accident, he turned to drugs to ease the pain. He was addicted to crack and other drugs, his body and mind sick from his addiction. He had tried rehab several times, but had failed. He had no relationship with God.
It was when staying with his grandmother after binging on crack that Hamilton found God. After having a disturbing dream about wrestling with Satan, Hamilton made a decision to surrender his life to Christ. Not long after he was able not only to return to baseball, but excel at it.
Not only is Hamilton a baseball all-star, he is also active in spreading the good news about Jesus Christ. He lends his testimony to I Am Second, a ministry dedicated to helping people find hope in their struggles through Jesus Christ. Hamilton and his wife Katie also run Triple Play Ministries, which provides baseball camp for children ages 12-18, and also does community outreach, sharing Josh’s story with the world.
Josh Hamilton’s story is not only an inspiration, it is a powerful reminder. No matter what we may be facing in life, through Jesus Christ, we have the victory. We can take comfort in the promise of 1 John 4:4: “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”