Back in the day, I was a catcher for my high school baseball team. During batting practice, one of my jobs was warming up the pitcher. There was no batter, so I often caught without my mask. One day, I learned how bad an idea that was. One of my teammates was being tried out as a pitcher for the first time. He threw a couple of pitches in the strike zone, then bounced one in front of the plate. The ball hit a rock and nailed me in the right eye.
- I was knocked out
- Received a baseball sized black eye
- Had cuts in the shape of the baseball laces around my eye socket
Lesson painfully learned. I never got behind the plate without a mask again.
I didn’t expect my teammate’s wild pitch, so I didn’t use the equipment our coach provided to protect me from it. After the impact, I was unable to continue playing.
Satan’s goal is to knock us out of the game
His plan is to attack us when we least expect it… when we are vulnerable. He uses temptation, vanity, insecurity, offense, loneliness, and a multitude of other tactics to drag us down like a lion taking down an antelope. God has warned us of the devil’s schemes and provided us with spiritual armor to protect us and help us stand when attacks come, but if we don’t put it on, it does us no good.
Prepare for the unexpected
The time to prepare for the unexpected isn’t after the unexpected happens or even while the unexpected is happening. Putting my mask on after I got hit wouldn’t have helped that day. I didn’t have time to put on my mask as the pitch was being thrown. The Bible encourages us in Ephesians 6 to:
“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
So how do we put on the armor of God? We seek a closer relationship with Jesus through constant prayer and through Bible study. When we choose to make our time with Christ the most important thing, we will be prepared for any wild pitch the devil can send our way. The peace God gives us isn’t an absence of attack, but a readiness to withstand attack.