Perhaps of all the messages I’ve conveyed to audiences over the years, the story below has been most used by the Lord to encourage hearts to follow Him. I begin this new blog with this true story from my life, to show how much God Can, and how much he Cares.
The Bible is filled with “impossible” situations … that God has no difficulty accomplishing. With Him, nothing is impossible. Below is an encouraging reminder that God is able. He Can!
“Ah, Sovereign Lord, thou hast made the heavens and earth by thy great power and outstretched arm; nothing is too difficult for Thee.” -Jeremiah 32:17
A Summer at Home
30 summers ago, during a “dry season” with the Lord, we were visiting home in Milwaukee. One morning, while reading Mark 14, my eyes landed on Jesus’ prayer to His Father. It began … “Abba, Father, all things are possible for Thee…” I read that clause over and over, writing it out six times in my journal. Then I wrote “Mk. 14:36” on my ring finger, so I’d remember this throughout the day.
That afternoon, Paula and I had the privilege of watching the Milwaukee Brewers play the New York Yankees, at County Stadium. We sat in the lower grandstand — first base side — in shallow right field. Sadly, our seats were so high up that the upper deck extended well over our heads. This ensured my lifelong dream — to catch a Major League Baseball — would not happen that day.
The game proceeded until the middle of the 4th inning when I glanced down at my hand and saw “Mk 14:36” on my ring finger. “Abba Father … all things are possible for You…” I pondered it again, then prayed silently: “Lord, all my life I’ve wanted to catch a baseball. Mark 14:36 says, ‘All things are possible with You.’ … Could I please catch a baseball?”
Goose and the 8th Inning
Ok, I know that sounds crazy. Recall we’re seated way-up-under the upper-deck. Foul balls don’t reach here. Nevertheless, at that moment, something very peculiar happened — I had an inexplicable sense that I was going to catch a baseball. I lovingly elbowed Paula and said, “Sweetie, I think I’m going to catch a baseball.” She became rather concerned for her young husband’s state of mind!
The game continued … 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th inning … when the Yankees brought in Hall of Fame pitcher, Goose Gossage. Goose was famous for his fastball, which most players couldn’t hit. Up to the plate strolled Gus Polidor, second baseman for the Brewers. He swung at a fastball … and I immediately stood to my feet.
I played competitive baseball through high school, so I knew the trajectory of a baseball coming off the bat. Polidor had hit a low, line-drive ‘screamer’ into the lower grandstand, that penetrated up under the upper deck … right at me. The ball, arcing violently right-to-left, smashed bluntly into the heel of my left hand. Though I had the ‘sure hands’ of a second baseman, the ball slapped so hard that it vanished from my closed hands. It was gone! Where did it go? I impulsively dove (upside down) into the four empty seats in front of us … and then I saw it … ricocheting off a woman’s shoe and slowly rolling back into my hands.
That baseball (pictured above) sits across from my desk, always within eyesight, to remind me that “nothing is impossible with God.” Or, as I like to say, “God Can.” I pray that this baseball will enliven your heart to trust the One Who knows us, sees us and hears us. In a way, He has hit to every one of us the greatest baseball of all time: His Son. Jesus truly is the greatest ball that’s ever been hit to me.
Let’s keep our eye on the Ball. Jesus is the Ball.
(Read the second half of this story in the next post, here.)