July 20, 2018
I decided what better way to illustrate the parental needs that come after the birth of a new child than with a baseball. If you take a look at a baseball…it is embraced all around by red stitches….216 stitches to be exact. Each stitch has a purpose….to hold the cowhide around the ball. Upon further inspection, it is actually 108 double stitches. Throughout a ball game, one or both stitches will go through a variety of experiences: from being causally tossed around to being hit as hard as possible by bat. Each crack of the bat could potentially break the stitch – but because the stitches are reinforced by another stitch, and other pairs of stitches, they are able to withstand so much more together than they would alone. This ball is a great example of what is woven throughout the Bible… Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, lays it out for us “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.”
Raising one another up is not a new concept – way back when God was in the midst of creation He saw the need for a pinch hitter. Adam needed to have someone to support and help him and along comes Eve from his rib. From the VERY beginning God did not create us to take on life’s challenges by ourselves even when we feel like we are the only ones that can do it. God wants us to have a support system. He wants us to have a ‘second’ stitch along the way that will strengthen us in the manner needed at that time. Paul reminds us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) Take a look around you, everyone is here because they want to do that with you both.
They know the job of being a parent is not easy, one day all is well, the next nothing seems to be going right. The need for a relief pitcher is crucial in parenting. As parents, especially us moms, we feel like we need to do it all ourselves. No one can do it ‘right’ like we can. When we do feel overwhelmed, we feel we should not burden others with our struggles, dilemmas or worries. It’s strange to think that we have the same feelings today that Moses had over three thousand years ago. Moses was the go-to man if you needed a resolution. Moses began to show signs of exhaustion from the endless teaching of people God’s laws and settling disputes all by himself. It essentially took Jethro to have a heart-to-heart with Moses about the disservice he was doing to himself and to the people by doing it all himself. Jethro said bring in the relief pitcher – find some trusted men to educate and share your workload with…“bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” as wisely stated in Galatians 6:2.
In a few short weeks, your newest son will be here and the dynamics in your house will change. Your new routines begin. Your old ones are tweaked or abandoned, and the B family now has all the bases covered. Yet there’s always the ball that comes out of left field that usually surprise us. There are times when we’ve prepared for it, such as the extra outfits in the diaper bag and the times we have not. What helps gets us through those unexpected times are those teammates that just want to be there in any way they can. The ones just like Job had after he lost everything. When the friends heard about Job and all his suffering, they dropped everything and traveled from afar just to be with him. No words needed to be spoken, just their physical presence spoke volumes.
I could continue to go on and on, but I think you get the need for a team approach to parenting. I pray that God continues to bless you both. I pray you both continue to seek Him daily whether it is during the 7th inning stretch times or during those crazy extra innings. Continue to support each other in the new parenting days ahead, and rely on your friends, family, and also church family to get you through them. Do not hesitate to call in the pinch hitter or the relief pitcher to get through the day. I will leave you with a quote from Babe Ruth “The way a team plays as a whole determines it’s success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual starts in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”