That's Five ... That's Four ... That's Three ... That's Two minus One. With the home run we hit in the ninth, the stage was all set. There was more than enough joyous anticipation to go around.
That's Five wins in a row ... That's Four games out of first place ... That's Three outs to go ... That's Two wins in a row minus One named J.D. The stage was all set ... But the Three outs never came!
Like a bride jilted at the altar, our joy turned to weeping. The Royals were high-fiving, and we were left standing alone, with shock and dismay on our faces. In less than ten minutes everything had changed!
It has happened to us all, and in situations much more devastating than just losing a baseball game. It may have been a surprising revelation from our spouse that turned the tables. It may have been the tragic death of a loved one, or something similar to what happened to the Red Wings following a Stanley Cup victory, or a shocking message posted on Facebook or given from your doctor. Life is good - perhaps even great - when suddenly the situation is 180 degrees different.
What ought a person to do in such a situation? I think you know the answer, for it is an answer that is the same whether things are going good or bad. More than just taking it to the Lord in prayer, the proper action is listening to our Lord as he speaks to us.
Listen as he says, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the (flood) waters, I will be with you." (Isaiah 43.1-2) And then listen again as he says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1.9) Be attentive as he assures you, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," saying, "I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12.9) Trust Jesus as he promises, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8.12) And know that he means it when you reflect upon your heavenly Father's assurance, "I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed." (Micah 3.6)
That's Five ... gracious promises that will never make a 180 ... five answers that our God gives to us even before we pray.
As he lovingly whispers these promises into our ears we are reminded: 1) He is our creator who treasures us above all creation and still preserves us; 2) He is our redeemer who has paid for our sins on Calvary ... each and every one; 3) His open tomb is proof that Jesus is right when he says, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live." (John 11.25); 4) The Holy Spirit is our divine Comforter who is mysteriously present in all circumstances, and knowing our needs better than we do ourselves; 5) As individuals who have been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we are children of God (forever) and heirs of eternal life.
That's Five ... more ... and I am sure that you know that the list of his promises goes on and on ... Five times Five times Five times Five ...
And if one Fifth of those who hear this message today day each would pass these promises on to Five other people today, how many more would be blessed? THAT'S more than FIVE.