It gives me so much joy having the Detroit Tigers live on TV once again (finally) that I really want to write about them. In fact, I wanted to last week, just in anticipation of the season opener. Then, on Monday afternoon as I drove home, the owner of Harry’s (next to the LCA) was being interviewed on the radio, and I almost suggested to Monica that we drive downtown for the home opener. The only thing about the empty stadium that bothers me is that I will not be able to get into Comerica for any games this year. I truly have the itch.
However, the prayers on my mind this morning have nothing to do with the Tigers. Rather they are connected to my morning “road work” and the events following. In case I have not mentioned this to you before, by “morning road work” I am referring to the time I spend in the morning praying while I run/walk a mile or so several days a week.
Monday morning my mind kept returning to an individual I know quite well. The prayer focus was upon his future. In particular, God opening the right door for him to fully use his special talents. Then, early that same day, he tells me that he is taking a new job – that a company approached him and made him an offer he could not refuse.
Two days later, on Wednesday morning, my prayers kept returning to people I know who are struggling. And, wouldn’t you know it, that morning I got a phone call from the primary one on my mind, updating her situation. Her faith and courage have always impressed me. She grew up and still lives in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Detroit … didn’t finish the 10th grade … buried a 9-month-old son … was abandoned by her husband … yet willed her other child all the way through high school graduation (the first in her family to do so). Her house, by the way, needs a new roof, so …. If you know any local, reputable roofers …
Last evening, while I was watching the 2nd place Tigers win beat KC 5-4 (yes, I have the itch), it hit me: I was not leading God to the needs of these people, he was leading me … preparing me to respond to their needs! Jesus says it this way, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”(Matthew 6.8) In other words, without me even realizing it, the prayer my Father in heaven actually has been hearing is, “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25.4-5) That is what has been happening as he works me down the road.
What does all of this mean? Two things come to my mind. First, with 10% of the baseball season already under their belt, the Tigers are in the heart of the pennant race … even though many of their most talented players have not played a game. And second, I have a keener awareness of the prayer of another psalmist. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” (Psalm 130.5-6) My eyes will be wide open today in anticipation of the things God was preparing me for during this morning’s “road work.”
I have no idea how the remaining 90% of the season will go for our Tigers, but I think I know what the Lord wants us to hear today: “O people of God in Christ Jesus, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem his people from all their iniquities.” (Psalm 130.7-8) Not only has he completely covered our past, he even has us all prepared for the future he is leading us into.