I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness. -- Isaiah 61:10
It’s been over a week since the church bus wreck took five lives and left others in the hospital, most which are still there. I suggest you read this story, written by a close friend of mine. She’s a very talented wordsmith, much more so than me. She had a copy of the sermon New Zion’s preacher gave the Sunday after the accident. I don’t think he would mind me sharing portions of it, as it is an amazing expression of hope.
“We can’t choose the storms because God wanted a perfect world, but when Adam and Eve fell into sin, sickness, disease and death entered our perfect world. So, we are guaranteed to have storms, but who will we trust when we face these storms? I cried out and said ‘Lord, Where are you in our storm? Where are you in the midst of this tragedy? And he told me with these words:
“Where is God?
He’s the pastors who leave their flocks to go to hospitals that don’t even have their members in them.
He’s the emergency workers at the hospitals working countless hours to give life, comfort and strength to the hurting.
He’s the volunteers at the wreck who could have been elsewhere but instead they stayed to fight for those who were still alive.
He’s the widow who looks at her last dime and offers it to the families of the victims.
He’s the man who was straddling the fence spiritually, but last night in this sanctuary, he pulled up the fencepost and rolled up the barbwire and is seeking to walk with God.
He’s the people who have drove hundreds of miles from Jackson to Shreveport just to hold the hand of the injured or pray with a family member.
He’s the people who drive hundreds of miles to hospitals to deliver a doll to a scared little girl or a Dr. Pepper to a man.
He’s a piano player, a deacon, a body of Christ who rallies around a scared, young preacher who wants to quit and run the other way.
He’s a director of missions who was out of town on ministry, but drops his schedule and drives all night to the hospital to minister to hurting people.
He’s the one holding the hand of the dying. He’s the one riding in the chopper with a 16-year-old girl who met Jesus just a few short months ago because of a van ministry.
He’s making the Purple Ribbons and delivering them to the community to remind to pray for the hurt and loss that Oak Grove is feeling.
He’s the nurse who ends up being kin to the family of the injured, not at one hospital, but at both.
He is everywhere, He is right here and He is among us. GOD IS HERE. He is at the altar, waiting for any and all of us to come to Him.”
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'” The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:37-40
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. -- Isaiah 60:1