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Waiting 18 Innings for Victory

Published on May 8, 2017 | By

In high school, I had the memorable opportunity to watch the Yankees take on the Cubs at Wrigley field. I fondly look back on that opportunity, and realize the magnitude and rarity of these two teams playing an interleague game. Displaying Last night provided another legendary battle with the Yankees pulling out a 5-4 win, after 18 innings and over six hours of play. It turned out to be the majors’ longest interleague game ever by innings - a crazy two games in one!  Going into the evening, I’m sure nobody was expecting to endure the length of time it took for the game to come to an end. Every extra inning required players and fans to dig a little deeper in order to hang on a little longer.

In sports, but especially baseball, you never know how long a game is going to last. Usually fans love extra innings because a great game is being extended. 

The intensity and competitiveness between the teams grow after each completed inning, and fans are watching and waiting to see which team will finally win. 

In life, you and I aren’t as eager for “extra innings” to take place when it comes to waiting on challenging circumstances to change. When we experience tests and trials during a season that lasts longer than we ever imagined, we don't think we can endure as long as we end up having to. 

However, every “extra inning” causes us to dig even deeper, rely on God more, and seek His strength to hang on a little longer. 

When we face “extra innings” and find ourselves waiting for victory, the intensity and struggle can grow after each completed day or week or year. As the intensity builds, so should our faith. We can all agree waiting is one of the hardest things we are forced to do, but as followers of Jesus we can trust there is purpose and growth in the endurance. The fans last night who made it through the 18-inning game, can share that story for the rest of their lives. They can speak about how the game was that much better and even more rewarding because they waited so long for it to end. There was ultimately relief, but the joy was heightened for every Yankee fan who stuck with it until the final out. They can now look back in amazement that their love for baseball caused them to keep waiting inning after inning. 

I’ve learned that “extra inning games” will continue to pop up throughout our lives and waiting is never easy, but when we seek God and place our love and hope in Him, we’ll be amazed at how He sustains us as we persevere. 

The Bible encourages us in Isaiah 30:18 (ESV), "Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him." 

Lamentations 3:25 (ESV) also reminds us that "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him." 

Today, people are setting their own records for how long they’ve been waiting for a specific victory, and struggling to know what God is up to. As we cling to these verses, let’s also hold onto the truth of the ultimate victory we already have through Jesus...and remember that we wait from a position of strength because of Him. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, sometimes I can’t believe I’ve had to wait another day or another year for a circumstance in my life to change. I pray that I would trust You as I wait and place my expectant hope in You. Thank you for Your graciousness, mercy, and blessing. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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