December 12, 2013

God’s Placement Brings Healing

We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are…
—Hebrews 4:15

This is where the story I began yesterday takes a dramatic turn. Our family had planned to go on vacation to Disney World in Florida the next day after I preached the sermon, but for some strange reason, my wife begged me to leave right after the morning services so we could visit SeaWorld first. We decided to go even though it hadn’t been on our itinerary.

While we were there, a sudden storm broke out, and a streak of lightning hit the top of a nearby hotel, setting it on fire. Panic-stricken, five thousand people rushed up the steps of the stadium we were in, seeking shelter from the storm. Total chaos ensued. In the midst of everything, our youngest daughter, Caressa, ran right past her mother to a total stranger standing nearby. The stranger, a twenty-six-year-old woman, reached down and picked her up without hesitation, sobbing uncontrollably as she held our three-year-old daughter.

Worried, we asked the young woman’s parents, who were standing nearby, what was going on. “Two months ago, my daughter’s three-year-old child died of congestive heart failure in the middle of the night,” the woman’s mother said. “This is the first time we have been able to get our daughter out of her bedroom because she has been so devastated with grief. She’s been blaming God for taking her little girl.”

I told the young mother who was holding Caressa about the prophetic dream I had preached on the previous day, and that God had brought us to SeaWorld that day to let her know that her precious daughter is with Him in heaven. I went on to tell her that our three-year-old has never run into the arms of a complete stranger. “This is a sign from God to you of how much He loves you,” I said. The young woman told us that this experience had restored her faith in God.

If we are hurting, God hurts, too. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus allowed Himself to be forsaken by God so He could say, “I know, I’ve been there.” Our God knows the pain of loss. He is moved by the same things that distress us. Think of it: out of thousands of people at SeaWorld that day, God put us in the right place, at the right time.

Lord Jesus, I am open to Your leading in my life. Take me to the places I need to be for the service and advancement of Your kingdom, and use me to bless others. Keep me open to Your leading. In Your holy name, amen.