And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
This week I watched an inspiring video about a pastor’s fight for survival after receiving six gunshots wounds. Pastor Tim was walking to his car in the church parking lot when witnesses heard multiple gunshots. He was hit from behind in his shoulder, hip and head. When they got him to the hospital, his wife met him there. As he struggled to breathe he admitted that he did not know what had happened and was told by his wife that he had been shot.
Over the next three months, he would go through a variety of surgeries – one, to stop the bleeding in his pelvis which could cause him to bleed to death and another to fix a hole in his colon - previously unnoticed by doctors - caused by one of the bullets, . Yet, through it all, his wife admitted that she felt at peace and knew that it was Jesus who gave her that peace. She did not even believe that her husband would die.
Two days after the incident, the shooter was arrested when he threw some papers over the White House fence accusing Pastor Tim of being the head of an alien conspiracy. Their church family, as well as their entire town, chose not to send out a cry for justice. Instead they kept a prayer vigil for the pastor and the shooter which sent a message of love and forgiveness. Pastor Tim forgave the shooter and encouraged others to do the same. Even as the shooter serves time in jail for his crime, Pastor Tim writes to him often offering forgiveness and the message of salvation. When he announced that he held no animosity against his shooter, Pastor Tim admitted that it seemed to bring healing to many. He received letters from people who were praying for him as well as those, locally and around the world, who were getting saved because of what God was doing in his life.
As I listened to this testimony, a few thoughts came to mind. One, he was shot from behind. How like the devil to attack us “from behind” where you don’t see the attack coming and so can’t defend yourself? Yet, our God sees and knows and fights on our behalf. In short, even though an attack catches us off guard, nothing that happens to us catches God off guard. On top of all that, when the enemy thinks that he has gotten us and we are down, God simply springs into action to bring the healing and deliverance that was always there at our disposal. God never leaves us uncovered or unprotected!
Secondly, it was noted that none of his vital organs had been hit. As one doctor put it, each time the shooter shot him, the bullet hit a big bone that acted like a shield to protect his vital organs. The thought that comes to my mind here is this: God was even directing where each bullet went! When you belong to God, you are covered! God will even direct the enemy’s attacks against you so that it works out for your good instead of for evil. Only God...!!!
Thirdly, the devil attempted to destroy one man who was clearly a threat to him. However, he failed. Instead of getting the desired result, this entire ordeal turned into an opportunity for many people locally and around the world to get saved and receive healing simply because the pastor publicly chose to forgive his assailant and encourage his church and town to do the same. How like God to take what the enemy meant for evil and use it for good to save many lives. The same is true of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Yet, their act turned out to be an opportunity for God to save and provide for them when the world went through a famine many years later. Joseph chose to forgive them and provide a safe place for them and his entire family in Egypt where they would not suffer because of the famine (Genesis: 45 and 46). As Joseph put it: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20).
God is in control and once your life is surrendered to Him, He will take care of every aspect of it if you will just let Him. He knows what you need, He knows how to cover and protect you, He knows how to provide healing and deliverance when needed. He is our all in all.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to make that step now. Sometimes, life is going to hit you with unexpected attacks and challenges, but God is well able not only to bring good out of it for you but for many others as well. With God, there is always a bigger picture.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.