Football, Reepicheep, and 100 Days of Prayers

We’re not a sportsing family.

Give us books, movies, and board games. That’s what our home is filled with. So you’ll understand my chuckles when our oldest, Ethan, mentioned football practice.

In February, Ethan came home from school bursting with news that a group of his friends had all ended up on the same flag football team.

“Can we watch them play?”

Here’s what you need to know about the Fritz family-  while we don’t currently (or ever, for that matter) have any football players in the house, we make up for this deficiency by the enthusiasm we have for being with and cheering on our people.

“Yes. That sounds like fun.”

When Ethan first mentioned the prospect of cheering on his buddies, I had no idea we would be in the middle of a job transition. If you would have told me I’d find something I really needed during this season while watching 14-year-olds play football, I would have said you were nuts.

And I would have been wrong.

On March 30th, the boys played their first match.  Before the action started on the field, it became immediately evident that God had something for me to notice on the sidelines.

That was the day I first met a woman who was an answer to a specific prayer. I don’t know how to explain this except to say that I had asked, very specifically, over a long time, that God would meet a need.  On March 30th, standing in the rain, while stinky boys ran around after a football, God introduced me to the answer to my prayer. I’ll call her Lucy*.

Some people call them “God moments” or “God winks”. Whatever you call it, it was an unmistakable reminder of God’s sovereignty. For almost 100 days, I had talked to God. I wanted some assurance during a time of great uncertainty. In His way, at just the right time, He told me He had answered my prayer before I spoke one single syllable.

I don’t want to forget March 30th, 2019. After meeting Lucy, the rain and wind picked up, and the parent-huddle on the sidelines tried, in vain, to keep dry. I laughed until my face hurt when my friend, Jamie, turned her chair upside down to use as a hat. The boys lost that day. Grandpa Jones, the team patriarch (okay, I’m the only one who calls him that) gave the boys a speech that was just the exact kick in the butt they needed.  The boys were grumpy, but I felt like I had gone to church.

Over a month and several wins and losses later, I stood on the sidelines again with Lucy. Nathan had recently resigned from his job.  We had no job lined up. I felt uncertainty about the future even though I was certain Nathan had done the right thing. I also felt some real fear. I couldn’t shake it and I mentioned it to Lucy.

That’s when Lucy told me the story of Reepicheep. If you’re not familiar with The Chronicles of Narnia, he’s one of talking mice and was “one of Caspian’s most loyal and bravest knights.[https://narnia.fandom.com/wiki/Reepicheep]

In between cheers for touchdowns, Lucy preached courage to my heart.

Isn’t it something that even though I prayed for one need to be met, God was busy meeting a need I didn’t know I had?

Sometimes you pray for a hundred days with nothing but silence for an answer only to have God surprise you with more than you knew to ask.

“Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us —” Ephesians 3:20

Take heart. Jesus hears you.

It might take 100 days of prayers before He shows you what He’s been doing all along.

*Not her real name, but I chose this name because Lucy was the first of the Penvensie children to find the wardrobe and she was particularly close to Aslan.

One thought on “Football, Reepicheep, and 100 Days of Prayers

  1. Several months ago, I was praying: We need to talk, God. Life is tough and I’m getting kind of tired of it. I’m feeling burnt out on this whole learning-by-suffering issue.

    I listed all the big challenges in my life and asked Him for a study break: Won’t You relieve me of some of the pains and sorrows and stresses of my daily life for a few weeks or months or maybe even a couple of years?

    I didn’t really expect an answer. I was just feeling the need to vent. But He surprised me by answering my prayer for a study break in unexpected ways. It wasn’t the great big, long-lasting time off from suffering that I’d hoped and prayed for. But it was a reassurance that He hears me, He understands me, and He answers my prayers. It was one of those special “God moments.” (Adapted from my blog at https://thosewhoweep.blogspot.com/2018/08/study-break_24.html.)

    Thank you for sharing your unmistakable reminder of God’s sovereignty. By doing so, you’ve provided assurance to your readers during our times of great uncertainty.

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