Pastor Tim is proof of God’s love

There is so much bad news piling up around us — murderous shootings, tragic accidents, fearful economic fluctuations, political harangueings in this election year, so many people being caught up in drugs and being arrested, etc. — that it can leave us wondering, “Where is God in all this?” “Does He care?” and “Does He even exist at all?”
I want us to see and celebrate the fantastic miracle God has done among us. It was an undeniable miracle when Pastor Tim Remington was shot six times — and not one bullet hit a vital organ and he survived! Six hollow point rounds from a 45-calber handgun ripped into his back and shoulder. His right arm was shattered. A lung was collapsed. A round pierced his pelvis, and another skipped up to penetrate his skull, coming dangerously close to his brain.
His wife, Cindy, echoed what many have hailed as a miracle of survival. “It truly is the Lord’s hand protecting him and there’s just no way of getting around that,” she said.
What was so very impressive of the Lord’s providential protection was that the bullet in his chest missed his spinal column by less than an inch and lanced into his belly, dodging vital organs and arteries along the way. One bullet ripped clean through his shoulder before it penetrated Remington’s temple. It punched through the skull and settled at the membrane encasing the brain. When the doctor pulled that fragment out, he was amazed if had stopped at that place! If it had gone any farther, it would have done brain damage or he would have been dead! Tim reports that X-rays showed shrapnel throughout his body. “I’ve got 30, 40, 50 pieces of these shards that come from these bullets, and not one of those hit a vital organ,” he said.
By now, many have heard of God’s miraculous intervention. It’s no longer news. But I wonder if we have caught some of the significances God may have intended?
For a much less dramatic instance, many years ago, I was working long hours to make enough money to keep on plodding through the dry intellectualisms of a seminary that had lost the glory of faith. I was worn out, and wondering “Where is God? I’m tired and feeling empty and discouraged.” And then, God worked a wonderful miracle right in front of my eyes! — and I was refreshed and enabled to carry on. So many these days are tired and feeling empty and discouraged. I wonder, have we let God’s miracle refresh our hearts as He intended? I think He is saying, “Take heart, children. I’m showing you I’m real. I’m here. I’m present. I care!”
Many people are saddened and crushed in spirit as we hear of so many Christians and others being martyred by Islamic terrorists. “Where is justice?” It’s a common cry these days. “Where is God?” “Has God abandoned us?”
But right here in our own community, one arose, filled with confusion and hatred, and shot many times at point blank range, trying to kill one of the Lord’s most effective servants — and God intervened and protected from death!
Have we let God’s miracle go by? Has it grabbed our hearts and lifted us to see that God is real and present? Has it lifted the clouds of worry, oppression and anxiety that sit on so many today, especially when we watch the news on TV in the evenings?
I don’t suppose any of us could explain why so many have perished in ISIS onslaughts, killed senselessly, unprotected, but I encourage us all, “Let’s not miss God’s message to us here in our community — ‘I’m real. I care. I can deliver.’”
I believe it was not merely God’s great love for Pastor Tim Remington that prompted His saving intervention. I’m sure He wants to lift all our hearts in these troubled times!
This is a community of faith, and many were praying beforehand for Tim Remington’s protection from death (he had been warned in dreams months before the attack, and many were praying).
But is it possible that God’s intervention may also have been not only His loving purpose to lift our hearts but also a call to the faithful of this community to pray for our troubled world?
Whether or not that last is true, it is certain that our loving Lord has intended to lift all our hearts. I write in hope that we will not miss the impact God’s saving action for Tim Remington has been intended for us all.
[Although this Letter to the Editor is addressed to the Christians of our community to uplift our hearts, my hope is that not only will this miracle be seen as God’s loving attempt to dent the shield of unbelief in unbeliever’s hearts, but also a message that says to them and to all of us, as Samwise Gamgee said to Frodo in their perilous march into the land of Mordor, “There’s still some good in the world, Mister Frodo, and it’s worth fightin’ for.”]
Pastor John Loren Sandford