Looking for a Long Shot

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.

close up photo of monopoly game items

I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t know what it meant. Not really. It was used to begin stuff I think, as in after four they shot off the starter pistol for the race.

My family has been a horse family as long as forever. My mother and her father (Grandpa Magill) at one time raced horses—Back in the day when every county fair had horse races. My father was a jockey and rode at the big race tracks at one time.

However, somewhere in my life, I got sideswiped. I did have a few wake-up calls and our children did have horse availability but only recently have I realized that the Kentucky Derby is still running every year. I knew it ran, but I had stopped paying attention to it.

I realized how far I’ve fallen when my Adorable cousin told me how close she and her sisters had come to being almost millionaires with the last Derby winner, Rich Strike being an 80 to 1. They almost chose him as their horse. And I wondered at how you would decide your ticket, First place, Second place, and show…

I never did know how to read a racing form. I do remember a few terms that go with racing but very few. My mother loved the races, she read the forms, and she understood the lingo. When it tells how many races the horse started, how many it finished, how many it won…who its sire is, who its dam is. She understood the lingo.

To have a horse at an 80 -1 and choose that horse, how would you even know? Of course, Adorable was putting her finger in the air and guessing. Or perhaps like the man who always put ten dollars on the long shot no matter who the long shot was and he came in ahead by $800. But to have an educated guess is what I would call gob-smacked chance and happening.

There are people who believe that God will make a way for all people to be saved. They have all sorts of hoops that God will provide for unbelievers to become believers and come to salvation. It is one of those things that looks good on paper, but there isn’t any scriptural proof that those hoops are God’s plan.

We do know that God has provided salvation for those who seek, and we are told those who seek shall find. And God will make a way for those who seek to find. Some of those examples are amazing.

One example I’ve used, is of the man quite a few years ago traveling by train in Russia when Bibles were banned and the soldiers boarded the train looking for such illegal things. Before they could get to him he threw his study Bible out a window. It had the plan of salvation underlined and his personal notes—all of it went out the window.

Several years went by when he received a package containing the Bible and a thank you note from the person who had found the Bible by the tracks, read and, studied it, and followed the scriptures to become a Christian.

That story is remarkable, but there are others—less pretentious, yet simple and incredible. The stories of people down on their luck wandering into a church building and finding the answer they were looking for. Or coming across a crowd listening to a preacher and being convicted of the truth as they listened.

It’s a matter of God meeting them where they were at and when they were right, or it was right for them.

It’s almost as huge of a stretch as a young girl living in the middle of nowhere in a state with 99 counties and maybe 50 congregations of the Lord’s church in that whole state and that girl finding that one needle in the haystack.

The long shot of a young girl who didn’t drive or have transportation and was from a non-religious family that wasn’t inclined to help someone inclined toward religion to find or get to the right path.

There are many incredible things that happen in this life. There are several takeaways from this. The first ought to be we get what we’re looking for:

2 Thessalonians 2:10  and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11  And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: 12  that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

In other words, if you’re looking for a lie, that’s what you’ll find.

And then there is nothing too hard for God to accomplish:

Hebrews 11:17  By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac: yea, he that had gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18  even he to whom it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19  accounting that God is able to raise up, even from the dead; from whence he did also in a figure receive him back.

If you are seeking the kingdom of God you will find it.

Matthew 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8  for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.