Almost thirty years ago, I worked as a maintenance man at a motel in Ames, Iowa, near the campus of Iowa State University. The motel hired track athletes to help them set up for banquets in its ballrooms. Many of those track athletes were runners from Africa. One of them was from Kenya, who I spoke to in casual conversations from time to time.
One day, while I was talking to him, I had a quick vision. In it, I saw his parents holding hands and praying for him. They prayed, “Lord, we put our son into Your hands and ask You to do whatever You have to do so he will walk in his calling as a preacher here in Kenya.”
I looked at the young man. “You’re a Christian, right?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied with a smile, “how’d you know?”
“I just had a quick vision of your parents praying for you to walk in your calling in Kenya.”
He laughed. “That’s not happening!” he proclaimed. “I am the number-three ranked triple jumper in the world and ranked in the top five or six in the four-hundred meter dash. I will earn $75,000 this summer running in events in Europe and next year after graduation with my degree in international finance, I’ll earn hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t do that if I were you —”
“Don’t worry! I’ll be okay.”
A couple of months later on a cold December morning, I walked into the motel’s kitchen to begin my work day. There sitting on a chair with his pant-leg rolled up and blood dripping from his knee was my Kenyan friend.
“What happened?” I asked, rushing to him.
“I was late. So, I ran across the parking lot and slipped on some ice. My knee is ruined,” he said with tears rolling down his cheek.
“Ah, you’ll be okay,” I said.
“No, world-class runners never come back from knee injuries like this. The half-second they lose puts them in the losers’ bracket forever. I’m done.”
I stayed with him until the ambulance arrived.
If you’re thinking God wouldn’t do something like this to bring a man into His kingdom purposes, you need to reread the book of Jonah. God is a loving Father who will do whatever He has to do to fulfill His purposes, especially in answer to prayers.
Okay, maybe God will do something like this in answer to the prayers of parents for their son, but will the Father do this in answer to prayers for a region or state or nation?
(Continued in Part 7…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)