Swing, batter, batter, batter, swing!

“REED” This


Swing, batter, batter, batter, swing!


When I was a boy, I loved playing baseball. I played for the DeQueen Lions team sponsored by the local Lions Club where my father was a member, so it was kind of automatic that my brother and I would play for that team. Our uniforms were purple with gold pinstripes and I wore number three. In the five years with the team, I played every position except first baseman. My final year, I was the starting shortstop and batted fourth, which, as many of you know, is “clean-up”. I never hit any homeruns, but I had a high batting average. We usually won first or second place in the league for the season, and the opposite first or second place in the end of season tournament. I don’t know why we couldn’t win both in the same year, but we never did. I had a good last year with the team. Four times during that season I came up to bat with the bases loaded and hit a double into left center field that cleared the bases and allowed me to get to third base. That was so fun. The only thing better was to have hit a homerun for a grand slam. But, there was one game, late in the season, where we were playing a team that we had beaten earlier that year. Our records were the same, so this game would decide the season champs. They had a pretty good pitcher, but I had hit off him before. This game, however, I was struggling. I had struck out my first three times up, and now, it was my fourth time to bat. There were two outs, and the game was tied in the top of the last inning. We had two guys on base that could score if I simply got a base hit. I stepped up to the plate and – swing and a miss – strike one. Next pitch – swing and a miss – strike two. My third base coach called a time out and came over to me and told me to relax. He knew I was mad and frustrated and trying too hard. I stepped back into the batter’s box determined to hit the ball. Here came the pitch – I swung – miss – strike three. I couldn’t believe it! I just knew I was going to hit that ball! I had already seen in my mind a base hit that scored at least one run. But no, I had struck out for the fourth time in one game! I was devastated. We went back out onto the field to try and hold the other team from scoring so the game would go into extra innings. The first batter stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun, winning the game, winning the season for the other team. We lost. Second place that year really felt bad.


Disappointments in life can come at any age. Sometimes they come because we are not perfect. Sometimes they come because the world is not perfect. Whatever the reason and whatever the circumstance, how we respond to those disappointments reveals who we are and where our trust lies. If we let disappointment bring us down and send us into depression, our perspective and trust has been misplaced. If we are able to move on from that disappointment with our head held high, that can show either strong positive thinking on our part, but with a bigger difficulty our own positive thinking may not be enough. If our confidence and trust are placed in God, then we will be able to move on and even face greater disappointment through strength from the Lord. Psalm 125:1-2 says, “Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever. Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people, both now and forever.” As we grow older, the disappointments can be much worse than a twelve-year-old boy losing a baseball game. But, no matter what it is – a teenage girl being stood up on a date, an adult losing a job, a salesman losing a big sale, a marriage that falls apart, or a friend that turns on you – if our trust is in the Lord, we know He will see us through that difficult time. We may face disappointment, but we are still secure in our Savior.


I have faced many more disappointments in life with most of them being a lot worse than striking out four times in a game. Many of them have had much greater spiritual ramifications as well. But I am grateful that God has helped me understand that even though my own failures have caused some of them, I am able to move forward and grow through them because of His strength working in and through me.


“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.”  Romans 5:3-5


Bro. Paul Reed


Tuesday, May 18, 2021