Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Foul Encounter

All I wanted was to get a foul ball for my kids!"
That's what was going through my mind, as I found myself in one of the most awkward moments one could encounter as a pastor's wife, mom of three at a Greenville Drive Baseball game.

We sat on the grassy hill, near the top and had observed rather aggressive attempts amongst unattended kids to get foul balls which frequented the area. My kids knew better than to even engage in that nonsense, yet they wanted a ball SO badly.

This reality is what drove me to stand to my feet as a foul ball headed our way, landing atop the netted kids area.
I was so focused on that ball, because...Mama WAS gettin' that thing for her babies!
No one else near me, no hands even close to my angle on the ball, it rolled off the net right into my outstretched left hand!
I was ecstatic!
The ball had gone from the bat into my hand.
It was MINE!

I turned around, bringing my hand down, anticipating giving the ball to one of my children, whom I knew would be close by...and happened.

In a literal blink of an eye,

Before I could even wrap my brain around what was going on, I found myself at the bottom of a dog pile of about 20 prepubescent boys, clawing at my hand, trying to pry open my grip, finger by finger!

These kids had never even been near this ball!
It had not bounced around from person to person, it had not been dropped, fumbled or even remotely in reach of ANY of these WAS most assuredly MINE....

Yet, these boys were determined to steal it right out of my hand, no matter how they had to do it!

I sat in shock underneath this testosterone overload, death gripping the ball, thinking surely they will see I have it and move on...but nooooooo.

Finally, on the verge of panic mode, I went beast!
Using all the arm strength I had, I yanked the ball to me and screamed,

It went rather silent.

I furiously STOOD up, bewildered, and astonishly asked,
"What is wrong with you kids?!

Well, if it wasn't awkward was now!

They began to disperse, realizing they had messed with the wrong woman.

Some of them mumbled about having almost had it, blah, blah, blah...
Which I quickly corrected, reminding them no hands, save my own, had been on that ball...
And...I may or may not have told one smart mouth punk of a kid to go tell his friends he got beat by a girl...(not my finest moment, I know.)

But here's the truth of it:
These boys had literally just jacked up a 35 year old woman for a baseball!

They were no respecter of persons, there was no hesitancy because of age or size.
They wanted to take what I had and if pulling me to the ground would do it, then so be it.

But losing that ball was NOT an option for me.
Sure, I could have let go, surrendered what was rightfully mine.
Yes, it would have been easier, and I wouldn't have had the scratch marks and huge black bruise on my left hand for all those days after.

But that was MY foul ball.
Mine to have, mine to share with my kiddos.

So I dug in, and hung on and after what seemed like forever, but was only a couple of minutes, there I was...posing with that ball as my husband took a pic through his incessant laughter at all that had just transpired!

You, too, have an enemy that is no respecter of persons.
He is watching and waiting for you to grasp the blessings and joy that God has for you...and he is ready to TAKE YOU DOWN.

Just as you maneuver to pull it close and maybe even intend to spread the love, he is right there, vying to catch you off guard, wrestle you to the ground and convince you to surrender what is rightfully yours:
joy, freedom, wisdom, intimacy, power, peace...

He will claw at areas of your life, determined to pry open your grip on truth finger by finger!

But losing is NOT an option!

Don't be paralyzed by shock and disbelief, caught pondering the "why" of the circumstance!
Focus on the Giver
Focus on the good and perfect gift.
Focus on taking full ownership of what is rightly yours to possess as a son and daughter of the King of Kings!

We must be prepared for battle.
Never caught off guard, and ready to exert all the GOD STRENGTH that the Holy Spirit so freely gives!

"So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud NO to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and He'll be there in no time."
James 4: 7 MSG

Your enemy seeks to steal and devour, to intimidate and bully you out of the fullness of your inheritance.

But the reality is, HE is already defeated!
Like a child trying to take the ball from a fully capable and healthy adult, the only way he can take what is yours, is IF YOU LET HIM!

Don't surrender.
Don't give in.
God's fullness and blessing are worth the resistance you will face, the surface wounds you may encounter.

And live FROM Victory!

"Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet."
James 4:10 MSG

"Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up."
1 Peter 5:8 MSG

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
John 10:10 ESV

"Oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him-endless energy, boundless strength!"
Ephesians 1:19 MSG

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