Chris Coghlan was 15 when it happened. It was 2001. He had just finished exams for his sophomore year. He arrived home to a gathering of cars and people. He stepped inside, joking about a party in his honor. Then he saw his mom’s face. His dad had been killed in a head-on collision.

Coghlan was overcome with anger and grief. His mom called Randy Holland and Roy Silver. Coghlan had been attending their Christian-based baseball academy in Clearwater, FL. They canceled training for the day and rushed to the Coghlan home. Over the ensuing years, they were father figures to the young man.

Baseball became Coghlan’s coping mechanism. He would practice late into the evening to avoid the depressing effect of going home. The extra work paid off.  He received a baseball scholarship from Ole Miss, where he earned All-SEC honors. But he was ignoring the values his dad had taught him. “I could do whatever I wanted,” he said, “because I had the best excuse.”

He was a first-round pick of the Florida Marlins. When they called him up from the minors, he only lasted one day in big league training camp. He partied hard the night before, and it showed. Being sent down “is an empty feeling,” he said. “I was completely selfish.”

Back at minor league camp, he noticed Darren Roberts reading the Bible in the clubhouse. They talked briefly. Later on the practice field, Roberts mystified Coghlan with an unusual gesture of kindness. After practice, the two men met for coffee. Roberts asked, “Are you a man of faith?” and explained what he meant. “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Coghlan explains what happened next. “I realized that I wanted Jesus in my life. I was tired of chasing the wind. I was trying to fill the void with baseball. I was a miserable person. After he shared that with me, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life.”

God in His providence, foresees and uses the story of your life to reveal His love and care to you and others. “In your book were all written the days that were ordained for me” (Psa. 139:16). Your chapters may identify with Coghlan’s tragedy, or Holland and Silver’s caregiving. Another may look like Roberts, having spiritual conversations.

Coghlan was rookie of the year in 2009. His Cubs won the world series in 2016. He married and they adopted a son. He still lives his story of resilience and faith. “Even though some things happen in a negative way or life is tough on a person,” he said, “we know through the promise of God that it is for our good and His glory.”

That’s Chris Coghlan’s story. What’s yours?