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17 Miami Marlins team personnel test positive for COVID: A lesson on embracing trials from MLB’s first outbreak

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.


17 Miami Marlins team personnel test positive for COVID
Miami Marlins' Miguel Rojas, left, reacts to getting hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Major League Baseball, fresh off a solid opening weekend of games, must now deal with the fallout from its first coronavirus outbreak.

Four players for the Miami Marlins tested positive before or during their series against the Philadelphia Phillies, with another thirteen members added to their number by Tuesday morning. Overall, two coaches and fifteen of the thirty-three players that have been traveling with the team have been diagnosed with COVID.

And while there are still many things we don’t know as a result of the positive tests, the next few days might very well determine whether or not the MLB’s season can continue.

The first thing baseball must discover is the degree to which the Marlins followed the strict rules and regulations the league established to help prevent this kind of mass infection from occurring. If they cut corners or ignored the guidelines, then their experience may not be representative of the other teams.

A bigger question for MLB, however, is to what extent the Phillies players were exposed by sharing the field with the Marlins. Given that exposure to the virus is considered being within six feet of an infected person for at least fifteen minutes, the other team should theoretically be safe. As of this writing, the test results for the Phillies have yet to come back. If the tests are negative, then it will be an encouraging sign for the sustainability of the season.

If, however, members of the Philadelphia squad do test positive, it could mean an early end to America’s pastime. Either way, this is shaping up to be a crucial week for gauging the viability of MLB’s attempted season.

Ultimately, baseball couldn’t really know how viable their season would be until something like this happened. People could make educated guesses and take what seem like reasonable precautions, but sometimes a plan simply has to be tested before you can know if it will truly work.

The same is often true for our faith.

How do you see trials?

It’s relatively easy to stand for Christ and follow his example when there’s nothing compelling us to do otherwise. Jesus promised that wouldn’t always be the case, though (John 15:20). And when those times of testing come, the perspective we take will often play a deciding role in determining the outcome.

If we choose to look at trials as unfair or troublesome—which very well could be the case—then we’re likely to miss the ways in which God wants to redeem them to help us grow stronger in our faith (1 Peter 1:7).

If, however, we can instead discipline ourselves to accept our trials as a simple fact of life in this fallen world and then embrace the opportunities for growth that they present, we will find them easier to endure in the present and more beneficial to the future.

So, decide right now that the next time trials come, you’ll lean into them in God’s strength rather than lament them in our weakness. That choice could make all the difference.