Summary: Even in the worst of situations, God is still in charge, calming the waves and the storm.
Joh 10:27-28 ESV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. What a great and awesome truth this is. No matter what happens in this life, Jesus tells us that all who are his people, and follow his teaching, will always and forever, live with Him and through Him.
In the past week, we have seen much tragedy, as I was preparing for today, I found out that a mother, father and two daughters had been killed last Saturday night on their way home from a performance of HS UIL One Act Play. The daughters were very much involved in their school, and in this activity. They also had their brother with them but he survived and is recuperating in the hospital. All the Pastors in town spent Sunday afternoon at the High School Gym, with the students and teachers. Then came the Boston Marathon bombing, what a horrible tragedy that was.
Then a close friend and member of our Community, died, he was found by his sister who had come to pick him up to take him home. He was sitting in his favorite chair as if just enjoying the day, she honked her horn but he did not respond so she went to wake him, and found out he was not sleeping but instead had died sitting in that chair.
His funeral was Thursday evening and it was a joyous celebration of his life as a part of the community. He was a man who had confessed his faith publicly in Jesus and his family was joyous because he had followed Jesus into eternity. Yesterday on Saturday, there was a memorial for another friend who had died after fighting cancer. She loved the Lord and worked to be a help to others as a nurse and a friend. Then I thought that no matter what happens, God is still in charge, still present in our lives, even in the worst of situations.
Then too, let us remember the explosion in the town of West, just north of Waco at a fertilizer plant. There were quite a few deaths and injuries there as well, and there are still many people missing after the explosion.
Today, we are together here in Church, reading the scriptures, praying for people, and singing praise to our God. In Boston, they have found the one they were looking for. So many folks have the pain of that day etched into their memories. Then too one of the policemen who were shot during this past week, has a brother serving in Afghanistan, so all of this has ramifications beyond that which is immediately obvious. The family of those who planted the bombs, are also affected, the uncle who lives in this country, saying that he wants his nephew to surrender, ask for forgiveness, and know that he has shamed his family by his actions.
In all of these things, there is the presence of God, you see when David wrote the Psalm we know as the 23rd, he wrote it after a time of persecution, perhaps after Saul was killed and he was crowned as the King, perhaps after one of his other times of difficulty. The beauty though of this psalm is in the pictures it gives us of the grace of God in the life of David, shepherd and king.
I read the psalm and note immediately that God takes the lowly job of shepherd, yet if we read the 10th chapter of John, we find Jesus talking about being the shepherd as well. Verse 27 says: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” If you read that chapter it speaks eloquently about Jesus as shepherd of those who follow him and work to live as he lived, following not only his voice but also his example.
He calls himself the “Good Shepherd”, in verse 11 we find these words: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Prophetic words of course since that is what our Lord and Savior did just a couple of years later. All that has happened in our lives, not just this past week but in all our days can be summed up in the words of the Psalm and in John 10. God is with us, God leads us through the storms of life, and we all know that there are many storms in life.
As I watched the news cast in regard to the happenings in West here in Texas, I was struck by the picture of a lone honor guard fireman. Standing guard over the site of the explosion, there will be a guard over that site until the firemen who are missing have been found, because the firemen all across the state, refuse to leave anyone behind. God has done the same thing, God continues to give us opportunity to become His people, over and over God makes the offer to those of His creation who have not been saved from the torment of hell. Jesus died on that cross for all persons, and wants all to be reconciled to God through His sacrifice.