Don't you love those insurance company commercials with the "Mayhem" character? While absolutely ridiculous most of the time, they are very funny. Thinking about how often the absurd can happen to you, and having protection, though, is a credible thought process. This world is filled with the absurd. It's filled with the ridiculous. It's filled with the unthinkable. These days, even for those living in the quiet towns of central Alabama, events many never thought possible have become common place. And, as we see the frequency of these events increase, so must the amount of consideration we give to whether or not we are prepared for them.
There's another insurance commercial - the one where the company has "seen a thing or two"; I love this one because there's a tone of preparedness. It's a statement that, based on experience...what we've seen happen, we are more or less ready for anything. I'd like to land there.
Human experience tells us that we can expect wonderful moments of joy and celebration in life. But those time are always going to be tempered with reality - bad things happening, often times to good, unassuming people. What do we do?
Let me turn your attention toward spiritual preparation. Jesus says this in John 16:32-33, to paraphrase: "You guys are about to go on about your lives. You'll be scattered, and even I will be left to face a trial alone. You'll be overwhelmed. You'll be shocked by what you experience. I'm telling you this now so you'll be ready then. Anticipate trouble and be ready for it. Root deeply in what I've taught you. But when trouble does come, keep your head up and your hopes high, because I've overcome that trouble and every other one that comes your way."
That is a wonderful word from Christ. He tells in John 14 to trust in him, and to refuse our hearts and minds to be troubled to the point of lost hope and faith. Be confident, because He has not left us. Another scripture tells us to toss our anxiety and the things that overwhelm us onto his shoulders, because he cares for us and gladly bears that burden.
When you trust Jesus as savior and Lord, you don't just gain heaven as an eternal home. You gain the very presence of God in your life as a companion - an ever present friend in times of trouble. You gain a heavenly father, and a friend closer than a brother. You gain someone, that when the unthinkable for us happens, he's already seen it and experienced it. Better yet, He has the plan to help you go through it and reach the other side.
Mayhem, disaster...they are real. Thank God so is He and his plan to grow us through him. Like a good neighbor, our God is there.
Rev. Jason Green
Mineral Springs Baptist Church