Setbacks Lead to Comebacks
by C.A. Phillips
It was a rough night on Monday to be a Braves fan. Not only did our beloved Bravos lose to our division foe – the Mets – they also lost their ace starting pitcher Mike Soroka for the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles tendon.
If you’ve been on Twitter at all these past couple days, you’d have thought losing Soroka was an apocalyptic event. Granted, losing your best pitcher when you’re already struggling to put together a rotation is never a good thing. But, it seems the vast majority of Braves fans see this season as a lost cause. Reminder: the Braves are 8-4 and only play 48 more games! There’s plenty of reason to remain optimistic despite the setback.
Regardless of what ultimately happens with Soroka’s health or the Braves’ 2020 season, I think it’s wise to step back from the emotion and disappointment of the injury, and ask this question: “What might God want to do through this?”
There are countless ways you could attempt to answer that question:
…another pitcher will find his inner “bulldog” and rise to a whole new level.
…another pitcher will be the subject of a trade to Atlanta as a result of Soroka’s injury, and help lead the team to another division crown.
…the Braves do tank and don’t make the playoffs, but Mike Soroka will discover something about God he never realized.
It’s possible none of these things happen, but my point is that God is working in and through this situation – and every situation!
When things seem hopeless to us, God is still up to something.
Consider James’ words:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 (NLT)
Soroka spent his 23rd birthday this week finding out he’d likely have to endure a grueling rehab for 8-10 months before he’d be back on the mound. Hardly something to celebrate. But, according to scripture, it’s cause for joy – not the injury itself, but what the comeback would produce in him, and what it may produce in others.
We all need to expand our view a bit. Take a step back, would you? Perhaps you can see what God may be up to – not just with Mike Soroka, but in your heart as well!
C.A. Phillips is a lifelong sports enthusiast and youth baseball coach, and currently serves as the Communications Pastor and Director of Men’s Groups at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Ga. He lives in Kennesaw with his wife, Amy, and his two sons, Chaz and Chandler.
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