Did you ever have one of those days?
Everyone has experienced this at some point I’m sure.
From the moment you wake up, nothing goes right.
But I bet you never had a day like Robinson Chirinos had on March 11, 2012.
What started out as a glorious day soon became one of distress.
Robinson was a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays and had a spring training game against Pittsburgh on the schedule.
That morning, he made the life-changing decision to turn his life over to Jesus Christ. He prayed in his apartment and made things right in his heart.
“I grew up knowing there was a God but didn’t have a relationship with him – nothing – until that day,” he told me before a game in Cleveland. “I felt so good that morning because I cried out to God in my heart. It was real.”
Later that day, he found himself behind home plate.
There were two outs in the ninth inning when Josh Lueke fired a fastball that grazed the bat and slammed into Robinson’s mask. It stunned him, but he shook it off and finished the inning.
Catchers get hit all the time, and this is part of their job. But this time was different.
“I felt okay at first, but five minutes later It got worse and worse,” he said. “I got back to the clubhouse and started throwing up.”
When I played baseball, I experienced a similar situation. I took a foul ball to the mask and it cracked, and I heard bells and whistles for hours. But I never went through what Robinson did.
The knock to his head turned into an ordeal that caused him to miss the rest of the season. He suffered constant headaches and was nauseous and dizzy for several months. It would not go away.
And he also dealt with anxiety, because the devil whispered in his ear that his career was over, and that God had turned His back on him.
“I didn’t sleep much at all – maybe two hours each night,” he said. “I stayed in my apartment most of the time.”
A medical expert who specialized in concussions met with Robinson, and the healing process began.
“I knew I was under attack from the very beginning,” he added. “It was a tough time in my life. My whole world was turned upside down. I didn’t know if I’d ever play ball again. It was crazy, but I know God brought me through. I could not have made it without Him.”
On the same day, Robinson made the decision to follow Christ, and later he suffered a potentially career-ending injury to his head.
The devil never plays fair.
Maybe you have been a target of the forces of evil for taking a stand and proclaiming Christ. Perhaps you have obeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit in a church service, and the next day you had car issues. Or maybe you witnessed to a co-worker about the goodness of the Lord, and the next day, Satan sent a personal attack.
If you are a child of God, you will come under fire at some point in your life. This does not mean you are not living for His glory. Once you make the confession of faith, you place a target on your back for the devil to shoot at.
Here are some steps to consider when you have been struck in the face by the devil’s fast ball:
· Know who you are in Christ: Never let demons tell you that you are worthless, and that God will not protect you. Rely on the truth and stand firm in your beliefs. This is where the battle is won. Satan might think he has you down, but you must respond with boldness and proclaim the Master. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2: 8-9 KJV
· Testify more: This will strengthen you in times of struggle. If a player is in a slump, he might spend some extra time in the batting cages or watching film. When you stand and give thanks to God in church, it empowers you and gives you much needed power from Heaven.
· Remember your salvation experience: You can’t live in the past but remember why you started this journey. God sent His Son to die for you so you can have eternal life in Glory. You started down this road because you believe Jesus is the only way to reach Heaven.
· Dig deeper in the Word and in your prayer life: When you are under attack, spend some extra time in prayer and search the scriptures more for comfort.
· Praise God: The best way to knock the devil out of the game is to stand and praise God and give Him glory for all your blessings. Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. – Psalm 106: 1 KJV
Just because you are a believer does not mean tough times will never come into your life. It means you have the best source to deal with life’s struggles and challenges. Robinson faced some dark days but stayed close to the Lord. Now, when he goes about his daily life, he uses the breastplate of righteousness as his chest protector and the helmet of Salvation as his mask. Make sure you are ready to deflect the wild pitches and fouls ball caused by the enemy.
Have you ever come under attack?
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.