We are at the baseball game, the bases are loaded! Bottom of the 9th. Last game of the world series. The score, they are winning by 3 points. One more home run and we win the game. The stadium is at maximum capacity. The crowd is going nuts! Everyone is yelling and screaming in excitement! Then I get up to bat and what happens? A silence falls upon the stadium. The pitcher throws the first ball, Strike 1! The crowd goes crazy! How could he have missed that? Come on pitcher… Throw it right! Then…Silence… the pitcher winds up and…Strike 2! What is this? Come on keep your eye on the ball, the crowd is screaming! This is it… Final throw for the game. Then I step back, look to the sky and in my mind I say, this is it God, if I miss this one, its over. The crowd will boo me, my team is gonna hate me, my career in major league baseball is over. Please be with me, I pray. I step back into the batters box, I look out toward my fellow players on the bases. Looking towards the outfield. I see the perfect spot, it’s in between the center and left outfielders. It’s wide open. That’s where I need to hit the ball. Then, I look at the pitcher. He is winding up, he is about to release the ball. As he does, in slow motion, I’m praying, God, please let me hit this ball. The ball gets closer. God, Ill do anything you want. Just say it! Now it’s even closer. I’m your guy God. Closer! Just please let me hit this ball. About this time, I start forward with my bat. I’m in mid-swing and I screams out to God, Please God Give Me The Strength to Hit it! About that time, the ball is right over the plate, the ball comes in contact with the bat. There is a huge loud Smack! The sound resonated threw the air. I hit it God! Now, I gotta run! God please help me get to first base. I’m almost there, what are they yelling? My coach is screaming at me, what? Go to the next base? Why? Ok, I’m not stopping to ask why. So as I start to second base, I hear him yell, Go Boy Go!. I get to second base and I look down to the coach at the 3rd base. Why is he waving me on? Come on he is saying. Why? Ok, so I keep running. Harder and harder towards 3rd base. I get near third base and I hear him yelling, Keep Going Boy! Keep going!! As I head towards home plate, I see the other teams catcher and umpire looking at me! Why are they staring at me? About this time I notice the crowd is going absolutely crazy. What is going on? Why? As I near home plate, I don’t hear the coach yelling slide? Why? Am I just gonna run across the base? About that time, the other team’s catcher steps back. Oh no, he’s gonna catch the ball and tag me out! Why God? Why did you let me get this far to have me out? Why? About that time I cross home plate. I slow down and listen… What? What are they yelling? What’s on the big score board? Huh? Then I stop and look… HOME RUN? How? I’ve not hit a home run in months, no a couple years! How? Why? What??? My team is running out jumping up and down! Everyone is going absolutely crazy! Then I remembered. I had ask God for help! As they all near me, I drop to my knees, tears by now running down my face and scream out… Thank You God! As I kneel there sobbing, my mind goes back to that day when I was in high school and my Dad had been in a car wreck and he was laying on the hospital bed dying. The doctors had given us no hope that he would survive. I touched my dad’s hand and cried, Please God, Please let my Daddy live. I’ll do anything, just please let him live. I look up, Dad is jumping up and down clapping in the stands. As I stand up, sobbing, I glance to my wife, she is holding our baby girl. The same one that before she was born, the doctors said she would only live maybe a couple minutes, if not seconds. But she is alive and perfectly healthy. I begged and prayed for the last 4 months of the pregnancy, God, Ill do anything, just please let my baby girl live. God Anything! As my team is now lifting me onto their shoulders, my mind flashes to that night that I was flying with my team last week and we went threw the thunderstorm, just about that time, lightening struck our plane. As we began to descend quickly, I remembered, please God, Please don’t let me dye here. I wanna hold my baby girl one more time. About that time, the pilots regained control. As they are carrying me around now, the hero of the night. I look down, the bat I had swung was broke in two. How did that happen? The crowd was not calming down. After awhile, we all walked into the locker room. After I stopped and regained my composure, I yelled out, Hey Guys, Listen Up! As I stood there and shared what had happened and how that God had answered so many prayers in my life. I asked the team to join me in a thankful prayer. We all knelt down and I began to pray. Thank you God … I continued the prayer … Amen. Showers were over, some are walking out of the locker room headed for their cars, when one of my teammates come from behind and takes my arm. Hey Dude. I turned and looked at him. I saw tears in his eyes. I said, Hey man, whats up? So you really believe in this Jesus dude? Yes, I do man. Did he really answer your prayer about your dad back then? Yes he did buddy. Man, I remember all that stuff with your daughter. I thought the doctors just goofed up. It was really him that did it? I looked at him and said, Do you not know this man who saved us last week on the plane? That was him too? Yes, it was. No dude, I don’t. Where do I meet this Jesus Guy? I looked at him and said, Right here man. As we sat down on the bench, I had the opportunity to lead my team mate to Jesus. It turned his life around. He today is a pastor at a church in our town. It was later the next season that he and I both got to tell our stories to the new team mates. Three of them came to know the Lord that day. As I lay here an old man, I look back over my life all these times and I see the number of times that Christ saved my life and allowed me to share Him with others around me. I close my eyes and I hear a voice saying, Well done my good and faithful servant, welcome home.
God, I thank you for my friends and family. I thank you that you have answered so many prayers in my life. You have protected me beyond what anyone can imagine. You are such an awesome God. I pray that my life can be like this man in the story. A testimony of your love, grace and power. Thank you again God for loving and protecting me. In Your Holy Name I Pray, Amen.