Love, Game, Set and Match for Federer

July 2009

The story I am about to tell you will seem very incredulous compared to my other miracle stories on this site because it relates to a world news-worthy event. Nevertheless, I will proceed to tell you and to tell just how it happened.

It started with my two friends (let's call them Mr & Mrs X as I would like to protect their privacy) who invited me to watch the Wimbledon Finals between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick in July 2009.

Mr X is an ex-boyfriend of mine who remained very good friends with me and my husband. Mrs X also became very good friends with me and my husband; all four of us were very good friends for many years. That is how life should be that we can be good friends with people despite the past.

My husband and I were in the process of emigrating abroad and we had put up our house on the market. My husband has had to go ahead of me because he had to start his job there, whilst I stayed behind to sell the house. We asked Mr and Mrs X (since they have been very good friends) if it would be possible for me to stay with them after the house is sold, just to help me wrap things up before I finally leave. They kindly said, "yes".

The time came when the house got sold and I asked them if I could stay with them. To my surprise the answer was "No". Apparently Mrs X has a problem with me having had a past with Mr X, so she would not have me living under the same roof as them. Mr and Mrs X also runs a guest house, but it is grotty and dirty, and they decided to dump me there denying me of the chance to live in their nice clean house. Naturally I felt very betrayed, what was that friendship we had? Was it all fake? I felt very sad, but remembering that I should love my enemies and those who betray me, I tried to remain decent and to continue to be nice to Mr and Mrs X regardless. It was, at times, very difficult! Anger and resentment would sometimes surface in my heart, and I was always having to fight them off.

That day, the day of Wimbledon 2009 finals between Federer and Roddick, Mr and Mrs X invited me round to watch it with them (even if I had not been welcomed to live in their house, I was apparently allowed to visit there), and I did so. Knowing that the tennis match could go on for hours, I brought my embroidery work with me so that I can embroider whilst watching tennis. Mrs X kept looking at my embroidery. She had taken quite a liking to the stitching that I had done, saying how beautiful it was, and how she wished she could do that. I knew in my heart that she wanted me to teach her, but there was no way I would do that, not after her fake (and yet still continuing to fake) friendship she was giving me. Then, I felt God saying to me in my heart "Teach her". I talked back to God and said "No way, God! No way, she has been horrible to me!! They have put me in a grotty guest house, they don't love me so why should I love her enough to teach her embroidery?!" On the outside, I just kept smiling at her and carried on doing my embroidery (so I suppose it was now me who was faking the friendship back).

A moment later, God's voice said to me again "Teach her", and again I talked back to God saying "No". God's voice kept repeating inside my heart, until finally I gave in. I said to God, "OK God, I will do it FOR YOU because I have no reason to do it for me or for her!" I forced myself to teach her embroidery. I taught her that stitch that she loved. Her face brightened with smiles, she was so happy, so very very happy, she finally got to learn that beautiful stitch I was doing. She practised it in front of me until she got it right. I saw the happiness on her face and all I could say in my heart was, "I did this for you God, and I did this for you because I want to be obedient to your command of loving my enemies".

The tennis match was still going on, it was the 5th set which could only end with a difference of two games. The score was going 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, 3-3, 3-4, 4-4, etc. Roddick and Federer were going strong at it, both men were fighting at equal strength. I thought to myself, this can go on for hours, so after a while I decided to go home as I had ironing to do, and excused myself from the company of Mr & Mrs X. 

I got home and started ironing, I continued to watch the match. Federer and Roddick were still fighting it out at equal strength. This time the score was at 12-12, 12-13, 13-13. I favoured Federer because I wanted him to win his 15th grand slam to exceed Sampras' record of 14 grand slams. Then a thought came to me, "Why not pray for Federer to win?", so I knelt down to pray and this was the essence of my prayer:

"Lord, today I did a difficult thing of loving my enemy, Mrs X, by teaching her how to do that embroidery stitch. It was hard, but I did it for you, I did it to be obedient to you. I have honoured you in this way. Now I would like to pray for Federer to win. This win means a lot to him because it would mean he would exceed Sampras grand slam record. My prayer is not for myself, but for someone who doesn't even know me. I do ask this in Jesus' name, Amen".

After my prayer, I continued ironing and watched the tennis. I tell you the truth, seconds after my prayer, Federer started to win a point, then another and another; a few points in a row. Then suddenly before my eyes, he won the match! Those row of points meant he won the game, set, match and championship.. WOW... WOW.. GOD!!!  God how awesome... !!

I knelt down and I cried.

I cried not because Federer had won (although I was happy about that) but because God had honoured me back by answering my prayer! I truly believe that God had used that Tennis match to show me the power of being obedient to His command of loving my enemy. Had I not prayed for Federer to win, the game would have gone on, and on, and on at equal strength - after all, it went like that for hours whilst I was at Mr & Mrs X's house, and all the while I was ironing ... until I exercised the idea of praying!

Moral of the story

Love, love on purpose those who betray you, those who hurt you! By doing so you are honouring God and are being obedient to His command of loving your enemies. God never wants to owe anybody anything, so if you honour Him, He will honour you back and He does so quickly!

May this story bless you, just as it had blessed me (and Federer too, though he doesn't know it :-))

Matthew 5:43-48
Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Mark 11:24-25
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Exodus 20:24
Wherever I cause my name to be honoured, I will come to you and bless you.