Last night, Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies, tossed only the second no-hitter in baseball postseason history. I watched every pitch. Halladay was amazing. From early in the game, it was evident that he had every pitch working to near perfection. My beloved Reds were overmatched from the start; it got worse as the game went on.
As I watched last night, and as I’ve thought about the game this morning, I wondered what the Reds could have done to combat Halladay’s relentless pounding of the strike zone at their expense. There is a fair amount of second-guessing that occurs after a game like that; no doubt, Reds fans and baseball experts alike are blasting the team for not making some sort of adjustment against the Phillies’ ace. My conclusion is this: there was simply nothing the Reds could have done last night…they didn’t do anything wrong…Halladay was just that good and just that dominating.
As it often does, baseball imitated life last night during that game. If you get the opportunity, check out the book of Job in the Old Testament. It’s an incredible story about a man who did nothing to deserve the circumstances that came his way and yet he was forced to deal with them. After losing his possessions and family, Job was approached by his wife and so-called friends, who reasoned that he must have done something wrong to deserve this obvious “punishment” from the Lord. Job countered, saying he had committed no sin worthy of such a response by God.
Halladay’s no-hitter and Job’s story serve to show us the same thing: sometimes life throws stuff at us for which we are not prepared, to which we have no good answer, and under which we suffer seemingly undeservedly. Life, like hitting a Roy Halladay cutter, is just sometimes hard. There are times when we simply cannot do anything about it; life will be painful and difficult from time to time and there is simply no way around that.
The only question is what we will do after the storm is over. Cincinnati and Philadelphia play again Friday night. The Phillies will send another ace, Roy Oswalt, to the mound against the Reds. What will the Reds do? Will they still be thinking about the no-hitter, or will they move on and press forward, knowing they have another opportunity to win a game? What will you do when you get no-hit by life? Will you give up on God, or will you trust Him through the storm? From both Scripture and experience, I can say that life is not going to be fair, it’s not going to be easy, and it will sometimes throw a no-hitter against you. Yet, as Job learned, God is still God and He is still good and loving. Perhaps we learn to hit again by getting a no-hitter tossed against us. Press on.