Yes, that’s a curve ball.
And it’s not just a type of pitch in baseball.
It’s also an unexpected occurrence or thing that causes confusion or uncertainty. (And isn’t life just filled with those!)
Except not all curve balls are bad. Some are actually good. Or at least can lead to unexpected good results.
For example, my pole-vaulting son (see my last email for more of that story) got a last-minute invitation to the “last chance” meet hoping to qualify for State. Except his attempts fell short due to shortened warm-ups, high winds throwing his timing off, and even clearing the bar only to have his pole knock it down. That’s bad, right?
Except, because he’d missed a meet earlier due to his senior missions trip, his coach got him entered into another meet the very next day. A gorgeous day with zero wind. With plenty of time to warm up. Where another coach stood talking to our coach and offered to let my son borrow a different more-flexible pole. Where he surpassed his previous personal best height by over a foot and a half and qualified for State while setting a new school record. That’s good, right?
Now we had the blessing of arranging the logistics to travel to the State Track Meet on a Thursday afternoon. The blessing of having that same coach from a different classification bring the same pole to us just so he could use it again. The blessing of another gorgeous day competing with and cheering on newfound vaulter friends while representing the love of Jesus well.
My youngest might not have scored any points for the team, but competing at that level was a truly unexpected blessing to cap off difficult years being sidelined by injuries. (And we got the perfect conditions since a cold front rolled in and the remaining two days of competition were delayed by a day and a half because of…FALLING SNOW!)
About the same time as life was delivering those unexpected ups and downs to us, there were other curve balls hitting our family.
Some relatives returned from a trip to see my nephew’s college graduation…only to find their car had been stolen while they were gone. The search for a comparable used car…led them to purchasing a brand new car with more features for exactly the same price. (A mixture of ups and downs.)
And during a previous snow storm a few months ago, my husband slipped and fell, landing on his right elbow and injuring his shoulder. Weeks of pain and non-recovery led to a doctor’s appointment which led to physical therapy which led to a referral to a specialist followed by an MRI and a diagnosis of a torn rotator cuff. Meaning surgery and a long recovery period…right in time for summer break when my teaching husband actually can take time off without interfering with his job. Not to mention I work from home and can fill the role of nurse and caregiver. Another mixture of ups and downs.
Life throws curve balls. Unexpected events that can leave us confused or uncertain about what is around the corner.
BUT I can absolutely know without a shadow of doubt that God will be right there every step of the journey. He is still good. He is still providing. He is still healing. He is still sovereign. He still gives hope. He is still God.
So, what curve balls has life thrown you lately? What challenges are you navigating with God’s help? What unexpected blessings are you giving thanks for?