Have you had those days where it doesn't matter how hard you try, what you say or do ... it's just not your day? Maybe you feel like it's always someone else's day, a good game for the other guy and not you, somebody else always gets the promotion at work. You know that feeling I'm talking about. The deep down, nothing's gonna help it feel better kind of day.
One of my boys could tell you how that kind of day feels. Sure, he's just a little squirt and his troubles don't match our "grown up" rotten days. But, in his life, it doesn't get much worse than being the only kid on a baseball team that couldn't get a hit in the game.
His inability to hit the ball isn't from the lack of trying, practicing or giving it his all. The little guy has spent hours outside playing catch with his Dad and brothers. My husband and I have thrown countless pitches and given him pointers that he always takes to heart. For some reason, the bat just doesn't get there at the right second. He can hit the ball any number of times in our backyard but when it comes game time, no hit.
Generally, he gets one shot at bat each game. His coach gives him pointers, lets him know he can hit it and my boy squares up to the plate just like he's practiced ... no hit. He walks away from home plate with his shoulders slumped, his face a mirror of discouragement. All the while, my heart sinks with each step. In my mind, he should be getting a homerun. He's worked hard enough and practiced long enough, he deserves a homerun hit.
Last week, I was determined that he would have a hit at the next game. My husband and I worked with him each day. We even mowed a ball diamond in our backyard. (Yes, we are that crazy. Call me a redneck.) On Saturday morning, my son was up and ready to practice at 7:00 a.m. He blew through my bedroom door and yelled "It's morning, I'm ready to practice hittin' just like you said!" He practiced his heart out that morning and was all set for his game that afternoon.
At the game, my little guy walked up to the plate for his first pitch and swung as hard as he could. Slam!! I think I was the loudest parent on the bleachers. My son had his first good hit of the season. No, it wasn't out of the park but he got to first base. Then, his team batted him in for a point! I went wild. Our friends sitting near us gave me looks of bewilderment and other spectators looked at me as though I were crazy.
Guess what, I didn't care. All I could see was my little boy's face as he crossed home plate. His hands were raised in victory fists and he looked right at me and his Dad. His smile would've lit up a Christmas tree! I will admit there were some tears behind my sunglasses.
I realized something as I stood there cheering for my boy. God is alot like that, isn't He? God is like that parent in the bleachers. The parent that doesn't care what anyone else thinks. All He cares about is loving us and cheering us on. He helps us practice, encourages us to keep on going and yells the loudest when we cross home plate.
Maybe it's because He knows just how hard we work to get our first good hit. He's right there when it seems like everyone else has a good game but not us. Today, if you're discouraged and you feel like no one cares, look up in the bleachers. God's right there cheering you on.
Phillippians 3:14 "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."