Muscle Memory

by Stacy Sanchez

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:9 ESV

Practice is the best of all instructors – Publilius Syrus

“I think they are getting bored. We’ve done this awhile,” the parent volunteer said to me.

“Yep. I know,” I replied, and continued hitting ground balls to the boys. “I like to have fun, too. But, my job isn’t to make sure they’re always having fun. My job as their coach is to teach them how to play the game right and make them into better players. Right now they may be bored, but they’ll thank me later when they’re in a game and a ball is hit to them; they will automatically know what to do without thinking about it. The more we practice this, the more muscle memory they will have.”

I love baseball! I’ve played and coached baseball all of my life. Not girl’s softball. Heck no! The real thing, baseball. Many times I was the only girl on the team and even the only one in the league. I have the newspaper articles to show for it. I love everything about the game and have learned many life applications from it.

A few years ago, I had a cancer scare. Thankfully, the cervical cancer was caught early, but my doctor was very proactive because of my family’s history. The treatments for it were not fun. Eventually, when the protocol didn’t work, and the cancer continued to spread, I had to have surgery: a hysterectomy and extensive reconstruction.

The process of recovery was a long one. I was laid up in bed recovering for quite a while. I thought that this would be the perfect time for me to hear from God. Since I was forced to be still, why wouldn’t he take this time to impart to me a deep spiritual lesson? Bring it on, God! I’m ready.

As the weeks went by, I listened for God’s instruction, but, heard nothing. Crickets.

Honestly, it was a little frustrating, and I was getting angry. I prayed. I begged. I even cajoled God to speak. I’m seeking down here, but not finding. I wanted so badly to hear from God. Maybe he would download a brilliant book idea, a sermon, or some kind of teaching that I would be able to use when I recovered. But there was only silence.

When friends came to visit, inevitably one of the first questions they would ask was, “What is God teaching you in this season?” They expected a deep, profound answer about my newest insights from God regarding life and death. But instead, my reply was, “Nothing!”

What is wrong with me? Why can’t I hear anything from God?

I did recover and am healthy. But I never did hear from God during that down time, nor did I receive any insight until years later.

A dear friend of mine recently went through a cancer scare of her own. And I did what every good Christian would do, I asked her what she is learning about God in this season. Her response was the same as mine, “Nothing!” I could hear the sadness in her voice like I had in mine.

In that moment, I heard God say to me something similar that I had said years ago to my parent-volunteer: It’s not about learning something new right now. I want you to practice what you already know. You need muscle memory, so when another situation arises in the future, you will act instinctively.”

That’s when it hit me. Maybe not all of the situations God allows into our lives are about Him teaching us something new. Maybe they are so we can practice what we have already learned about Him.

Muscle Memory – encouragement about hearing from God from Stacy Sanchez on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

stacy sanchezAbout the author: Stacy Sanchez has been married to her beloved husband, John, for 32 years, is a mother of 5, and a very young grandmother of six (soon to be seven) yummy grandcherubs. She is a pastor, author, and speaker. Her passions include teaching Christians about the Jewish roots of their faith, as well as helping to empower women to become all that God has created them to be. When not teaching or writing, you will find Stacy and John walking on the beach and playing with their grandchildren. You can connect with Stacy at her blog,, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Join the conversation: Has God been giving you a chance to practice your trust in Him?

2 thoughts on “Muscle Memory

  1. Very good point about putting into practice what we already know about God. This is a good reminder!


  2. Stacy, this is so important because we are always expecting some kind of revelation but God may just want us to persevere without any seeming big insight from God. When my brother was in treatment for multiple myeloma, I so wanted to dialogue with him on what the Lord was teaching him. I wanted to glean from him. But he replied, “nothing.” I’m so glad the Lord empowered me to understand that was okay. If God wanted him to have something to share, then God would make it happen. Five years later, as he was dying from Merkel cancer, a result from his treatment, his very trust and peace in God was the loudest “words” he demonstrated. Yet he still wasn’t vocal about it. But God used him in beautiful ways. Thank you for sharing because God is creative and may not “perform” the way we expect.


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