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  • Stacy Sanchez

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

“People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” Rogers Hornsby

Sing it with me: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Sing it with me: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Baseball season has begun, and I am a happy woman. I love baseball. I love everything about it, from the smell of the leather glove to the sound of the hawkers calling out: “Get your peanuts, popcorn, programs here.” I’ve not only played the game, but I’ve coached many teams. The Baseball field is my happy place.

The game of baseball has taught me many things. One of the most important lessons was how to be a godly woman in a male-dominated sport. A few years ago, I was coaching a 14–16 years old boys’ team. Most of the guys respected me. But occasionally, a teenager’s pride, fueled with testosterone, would force me to have to prove myself again.

One time, I was demonstrating the proper way to make a tag at third base. As the runner was given the signal to steal, I got into position, and the catcher threw down to me. In one fluid motion, I caught the ball and placed the tag.

The runner was supposed to slide under the tag. However, this time, his intent was to embarrass me. He slid “cleats up,” hitting my legs, and sweeping my feet from under me. I don’t think he thought through how this would go, because as my feet flew up, I was hurled into the air and landed on top of him with a thud, knocking the air out of him. My team burst out in laughter.

As we scrambled to get up, his face flushed with embarrassment. He tried to humiliate me, but instead it was he who was jeered ruthlessly by his teammates. Breathlessly, he tried to recover his composure and snickered, “I got you, coach!”

“Did you, though?” I countered. “You tried really hard to embarrass me, but guess what? You’re out.”

The team roared with laughter again. “Ohhh, burn! She got you!” That poor kid didn’t live down the time his female coach landed on top of him for the rest of the season.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

Like Joseph in the Bible, we, too, have circumstances when we could take offense to something another has said or done. Joseph had every right to excoriate his brothers for the horrible things they had done to him. After all, he was in a high position of authority in Egypt. Had Joseph wanted to, he could have had them jailed or even worse.

But Joseph saw the bigger picture. While his brother’s actions were evil, Joseph realized being sold into Egyptian slavery ultimately put him into position to help his starving family. Joseph’s brothers’ deeds were meant to be harmful, but God used them for good.

When we’re offended, it’s hard to believe God can bring anything good from our pain. But if we let him, he will transform the hurt into healing and use it for his glory. By our example, others may be drawn into a relationship with him.

The trick is in learning how not to react. God carried him through many years, helping him to come to a place of forgiveness. It didn’t come naturally to Joseph, nor does it us, today. Fortunately–or unfortunately(?)–we are given many opportunities to practice.

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NIV)

Like Joseph, I had every right to be angry at my player that day. What he did was wrong. But instead, by not taking offense and retaliating, I gained the respect of the rest of the team—and him.

Lord Jesus, we are given many opportunities in life to be offended. Help us to handle them with grace. We do not want anger to lodge in our hearts, and we definitely don’t want to look like fools. When we want to retaliate, remind us of the prayer you prayed in the garden, “Not my will,

but yours be done.” Amen.



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