Monday, April 13, 2009

Bear the Pain

In the last inning of the second game of the double-header, we were down by two runs and had one out. There was a runner on first base. Chase came up to the plate to bat. His hit drove the ball on the ground right toward the short-stop who rushed it, tossed it to second and second threw to first for a double play ending the game. Our team lost 10-6. It was the first defeat our team experienced after five wins in a row. Chase felt the pain of defeat on his shoulders.

In Coast to Coast Athletics, they taught four fundamental truths to apply to baseball. The first moral truth is to bear the pain. As players, they must be willing to experience pain—whether emotional or physical. Chase felt emotional pain that night.

Last week Chase experienced physical pain in his opening game of the Little League season. From his position of second base, he caught a fly ball. As the ball entered his glove, he put his right hand in front of the glove and the ball hyper-extended his thumb causing bruising and swelling. This caused him to sit out for a few days.

As Christians, our lives have both physical pain and emotional pain. We can be doing all the right things and still experience pain in our walk as believers. The apostles were no strangers to pain after the Pentecost in Acts.

. . . and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. Acts 5:40-41 ESV

The apostles experienced physical pain from boldly proclaiming the gospel. And on top of it, they rejoiced for being considered worthy of suffering! How often do we rejoice in our suffering?

While experiencing the pain, the Lord can work on us to improve us if we allow Him. After the final out of the game, Chase has worked more on his batting skills. He is in the learning process. Also after the pain of putting his hand in front of the glove while catching the ball has made him more alert to his positions. We learn from pain as it sears the lesson into our memory.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. ~~1 Peter 5:10 ESV

God promises to “restore, confirm, strengthen and establish” us if will bear the pain. If we quit, then we won’t grow. Chase endured his pain and maintains his passion for the sport of baseball. As believers in Christ, let our passion to serve Him be so great, we willingly bear the pain and rejoice.

Engrafted by His Grace--

2 gracious comments:

Cherdecor said...

Hi Shonda, I am stopping a a blog or two a day in order to get caught up with everyone. I love seeing pictures of Chase and knowing what is going on in his life. It is so hard to see our children bear pain, but now that I am a grandmother, I see the importance of pain in our children's lives.

A friend just visited me a few minutes ago and lamented that her grandson has always had it so well and now he has no integrity or character. He is in jail. Heartbreaking.

I am improving everyday but not able to sit up for long periods of time. Thank you so much for praying for me. God is good.

Warren Baldwin said...

Ah yes, the pain of baseball. The pain of hitting into the last out or sitting on the bench while you heal is far worse than the physical pain! But, as Chase is learning, they are all part of the game. One thing that makes team sports so valuable is that you win or lose as a team. When a team is well-coached, the comraderie of the group can overcome the emotional pain of contributing to or causing a loss. I think it helps ingrain the concept of "even if I mess up, I'm still part of this team." How important is that when it comes to other "group" events like marriage and family?

Sports can teach some amazing lessons! I've read a number of your posts here and enjoyed them.