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
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