Summary: Sometimes believers are faced with cruelty and acts of wickedness in its most vicious form. What do we do? We have the assurances of God in the scriptures that no matter the wickedness and
Don't Shut Your Engine Down! Keep it Running!
Pastor Gbenga Shadare
The time now is exactly 2.43am. The date is Tuesday, April 19, 2005. Am sitting, working on my laptop, while listening to and half watching TV. The TV noise comes alive in my consciousness from time to time. So I pick up the remote control to surf between channels. As I am surfing through Channels, I suddenly stopped at CNN. And now, am watching Larry King Live! Where there is an interesting interview with Mrs Cindi Broaddus, the sister to Robin McGraw, Dr Phil McGraw’s wife.
She was attacked five years ago by an unknown, hateful bigot who sprayed her with Sulfuric Acid from a highway overpass in the quiet countryside of Oklahoma. The attack left her completely disfigured and totally physically eaten up. The attack touched and grieved the soul of many in America, who could not understand why someone would attack a very simple, happily married, God – fearing, easy going, grandmother that has not offended him nor done any evil to warrant this kind of random, willful act.
Well, five years on and with the attacker still unknown and of course not yet arrested, Cindi has picked up the pieces of her shattered life and is back on her feet; completely recovered (though with scars all over her body and with a nicely reconstructed, make-over face) but with a good spirit and an upbeat attitude. She is not in the least angry with her attacker ( she says she has forgiven the hapless person) and is now the author of a book titled “ A Random Act” , which catalogues her experience of coping with the pain, her experience with reconstructive surgery and the journey to recovery, forgiveness and a new life!.
She credits her faith in God, her family (husband, children and grandchildren, as well her siblings, friends), and her choice (she says she chose to live; to be better and not bitter) for recovery and her new life!
What touched me most in her testimony, which is the inspiration for this message is a statement which she made (quoted, actually) from her book, which is the titled of this message: Don’t shut down! Open Up!
That profound statement touched me in the depths of my heart and caused a surge of emotions that propelled me to type these words. My prayer this day is that it would touch you as much as it touched me and, that the Holy Spirit would use these words to speak to you, so that you too might find a way to open up and challenge the bitterness and gloom that wants to choke you.
Now you have got to understand that two things can happen to a car when it has been involved in a crash. It can either survive with the engine still purring and working or the car’s engine is completely shut down, stopped by fire and the dismembering of its parts.
Now, I would like you to carefully consider this imagery: The engine can survive the impact of the crash and continue to run or it can crash out of life or existence with the crash.
This is a good metaphor for most of us: We can survive the crashes of life without shutting down our engines or we simply crash out of existence.