My Grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the host of an international television program call-ed Turning Point. At the height of his ministry, and after having preach-ed biblical principles to thousands for years, his life was interrupted and, indeed, disrupted by a diagnosis of cancer.
Jeremiah wrote a book about his experiences called A Bend in the Road: Experiencing God When Your World Caves In. My brother, the Rev. A. J. Richardson, recommended that book to me when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003.
Believe it when I tell you your life at some point will experience disruption, your plans will be interrupted and your world will cave in. It happens to almost everyone.
For Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, it was having their lives disrupted to deal with the unexpected and tragic death of their son Trayvon Martin.
For Paul, the biblical apostle, it was experiencing the pain of a previously undiagnosed and untreated illness that plagued him at the zenith of his pastoral ministry.
Disruption is happening now for even those who are financially successful, who find these times very challenging.
Many are the benevolent who have as their mission assistance to the marginalized but who have seen their portfolios diminish in value.
For many others, disruption is taking place and it is not uncommon to hear words such as downsizing, re-evaluation, re-engineering, restructuring, layoffs, terminations and eliminations used at least once a day.
Disruption is occurring everyday in the business world, where breaking even is seen as profitable and slight decreases are determined normal.
The good news is God is still in control and He knows what lies ahead for us. “When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. His loving heart knows how much and how long,” says Dr. Warren Wiersbe.
So sickness, disease, pain, uncontrolled inconvenience, unemployment, limited resources, failed relationships, arrogance, jealousy, hatred, disobedience in children, low self-esteem, obesity, substance abuse, racism, sexism all may disrupt our lives. But there are ways to handle any and all disruptions. I offer the following suggestions:
First, confront your challenges honestly. Then, confess your faults openly. Claim your victory passionately. For goodness’ sake, cultivate your prayer life continually. Then, commit your ways to the Lord daily. God will provide enough grace from His exhaustive, never diminishing, supply to cover the pain and perplexities of your disruption.
And when — not if — you experience a disruptive moment in your life, pray this prayer:
“Lord, teach me to trust you when times are difficult, just as I do when times are good. Amen.”
Dr. Walter T. Richardson is pastor-emeritus of Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in South Miami-Dade County and chairman of the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board. He may be contacted at wtrichardson@Bellsouth.net. Website: WTRMinistries.com
Photo: Walter T. Richardson