A No-Hitter (In Baseball) is a term most often used to describe a game in which a single pitcher throws a complete game of at least 9 innings (27 outs) without giving up a hit.
In 1892, According to the MLB Network, Bumpus Jones in Cincinnati, was the only pitcher in MLB history to pitch a no-hitter in his debut in the Major League in the last game of the season.
Fast forward to Friday night, April 8th, 2016…
21 family members of rookie pitcher Ross Stripling came out to cheer on his debut in the Major Leagues since he was moved up from double A (skipping triple-A).
About 7 and 1/3 innings later, Stripling had not allowed a hit.
He was on track to a No-Hitter. A HUGE deal. The MLB Network never cut-away from their broadcast of other games going on to just capture this beautiful moment in Baseball History.
Everything couldn’t have gone better for Stripling…until…
The rain started to come down a little harder…
Stripling started to miss the strike zone more and more…maybe from rookie fatigue as well.
Dodger’s Manager decided it was time to pull Ross out and send in the relief pitcher. Even the opposing team booed at this decision as Ross walked off the mound.
As the Dodgers were winning 2-0, the next batter steps up to the plate…
Everyone looks up, including Stripling who was laughing and high-fiving his teammates, their stomachs must have turned upside down.
After that, a walk off hit and Dodger’s lose the game.
On the history books…Stripling is jotted down as losing his debut in the Majors, and we were all left to wonder…what if? What if Stripling had completed the game? I guess no one will know.
Experience would tell us that a rookie pitcher, in a high pitch count, with less than perfect weather conditions and it’s his first major league game ever….yes, let’s pull him out…
What’s the lesson here?
Let’s take something from each perspective involved…
1. From Stripling:
Sometimes life takes a turn and you’re gonna need help. You could be striking out whatever life is trying to hit from you but eventually you’re gonna get tired and gonna need help.
2. From The Manager:
Decisions are tough. Especially when it comes to stepping into help someone who is in way over his head. Maybe as a parent, we see our children doing great, as we see signs they might need help and a constructive intervention is needed, as tough as it maybe, even hurtful, But we are doing it for their good.
3. From the Relief Pitcher:
Man, sometimes, life just stinks. Sometimes we drop the ball and let our family and friends down. It’s gut wrenching. Sorry Tom Hanks, Sometimes, “There IS crying in Baseball…
4. From Stripling, Teammates, and Dodger Fans:
Forgiveness and encouragement for the relief pitcher. Forgiving someone and regaining confidence in them after they let you down in such a gut wrenching fashion is grueling, even hellish. But this is where it counts the most.
It’s even in the Lord’s Prayer…
“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.”
5. From The Home Run Hitter:
No matter what life throws at you, even if so many others before you have struck out, You can still hit a home run.
I know what you might be thinking after reading the title. But, no, this is not a illusive “DeadPool” post where I drop a bunch of F-bombs and all kinds of abominations out of my mouth.
The title is an attempt at an aggressive point to get across.
It’s about a moment when you realize not just that God is in control, but that He has been from the very beginning.
This is when you know fear has been kicked in the ass.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps! Prov. 16: 9
LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Jerm 10:23
Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way? Prov. 20:24
“How then can man understand his ways?”
His ways are higher than our ways. Always.
But, here is my experience in the matter…
My Heart In His Hands
I was born with this rare form of heart disease and ever since I was in my mother’s womb God’s hands were forming me.
Since I know God DOES NOT make mistakes. He DIDN’T create my heart wrong. He created it for HIS Purpose.
If you were born with any abnormality, please, know that God did NOT make a mistake. Realize that God is going to use it for HIS purpose throughout your life time.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
My Marriage In His Hands
As a 17 year old teenager I had a heart arrhythmia issues, after this event I lost the insurance I had and going into young adulthood, I couldn’t afford my meds and doctor visits anymore.
But, looking back at it now, because I know He directs my steps, I know in my heart of hearts, that He gave me a caring, loving, and threw in beautiful beyond compare just because he can of a women in my life.
We all know that relationships can be ugly. It is difficult to compromise and stress can be a huge factor in marriage. Even more with kids.
I have been happily married for 12 years and even though it’s been tough (which marriage isn’t?) We might even maybe argue from time to time. But, it has been more of a calm blessing then anything.
My wife makes loving her so easy. She is amazing. She has managed to create a stress free marriage for us. I love her with all my heart.
God is so good. He knew this is what I would need for a stable heart condition.
My Life In His Hands
It’s not easy to have confidence in a God that sometimes we don’t see moving in our darkest hours.
But just relax, as difficult as that may be. Reflect on the bigger picture. That we are still here. We are still breathing and the heart in our chests are still pumping.
I know it’s hard. Feels like all four walls are closing in and it’s so dark you can’t see how you will ever get out of it. TRUST me, I know. I know what it feels like you are never going to get outta that hospital bed.
But God is faithful. His love will never fail us. He is there.
He will be with us through it all. Whatever may come our way. No matter how painful or dark it may get. He will be with us.
Just remember, His love has kicked fear in the ass!
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear! 1 John 4:18
If you are a collage basketball fan. You are probably still in a sports high right now from last nights NCAA Championship game where Villanova beat North Carolina with an intense last minute of play.
If you are not into college basketball, have no idea which end is up, If you live on this planet and have a social media account of some sorts, you saw this special piece of history on your news feed…
Here is the final few seconds that had everyone on their edge of their seats…
If you are a sports fan in general. We want every game to be this intense. We want every game to be a “Buzzer Beater”.
We want every game to be, Top of the 9th, runner on third, tie game, and a base hit for the win.
We want every game to end with a hail mary from the 30 yard line and a 70 yard touchdown pass for the win.
It’s a special thing.
When it seems like the end is coming so fast and you see the score board telling you that you are done and out…
When the crowd from stops cheering and just holds their breath to brace themselves for the loss…
When the pressure seems to be too much for you to handle…
A miracle happens.
Just at the right time, the right elements fall into place and everything just clicks.
Without maybe even realizing it at first.
You took the shot.
You swung the bat.
You threw the ball as hard as you could into the end zone.
You jumped, flung your hands straight into the air for the catch.
Jesus knows a few things about “Buzzer Beaters”.
…at just the right time…
Just as time was running out for us in God’s wrath and anger against our sin and rebellion…Jesus came and gave his life to free us from these chains of sin and darkness.
Just as time was running out in our sickness to cause us hurt and death…Jesus came and healed us by his stripes.
Just when we couldn’t feel more lost and afraid in our dark, gloomy, empty and painful lives. Jesus came.
Just in time he gave up his life…
He took the shot…
Threw the pass…
Swung the bat…
He…LOVED the sinner…
and…WHERE IT ALL MATTERED THE MOST…JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME…
For you and for me He won.
He won in history’s ultimate buzzer beater.
Thank You Jesus.