It is Sunday, February 8. The congregation has joined their hearts and voices in worship and await the main message of the morning. Working men, stay-at-home moms, retired folk, children - all eyes are on the preacher.
The "regular" Sunday morning preacher is away. The c0-pastor will be bringing the message the Lord has given him. A woman remembers a time 3 years ago when the same pastor spoke on a Sunday about how God gives you the grace you need when you need it - not before and not after. The next afternoon, one of the young men from church was in a car accident that almost claimed his life. His family exemplified that message for months. The woman wonders how this day's message will be proved.
The text is Psalm 46. The message - "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." The pastor encourages the congregation to remember that no matter what, God is in control. When we receive bad news or go into an unknown situation we can run to God immediately. Remember how He's blessed and cared for us in the past. He will continue to do so.
Service ends. Many pray. The church members cling to the truth that has been given and leave the church house to go about their week.
Monday: a man from this church hears the outcome of a grand jury decision. He is ordered to turn himself over to the Alabama authorities by the end of the week. He just began a new job. His family is here. Will he be allowed to return to NY after he posts bail and awaits trial? "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Tuesday: a woman carelessly listens to talk radio for the first time in months. Beck is talking about how America is falling apart. The woman becomes anxious and falters. But then, she remembers, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." A promise to which she can cling.
Wednesday: the church finds out that their missionaries to Mozambique have been asked to turn in their visas and return to the States. All because of another missionary feeling like he's in competition. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Thursday: a plane crashes in a nearby town killing all aboard. The absent pastor and his wife arrived at the airport minutes before that plane went down. "The Lord of hosts is with us."
Saturday: in the aforementioned church, there usually sits a quiet, yet faithful, retired couple in the back row. This Valentine's morning, word comes that their oldest son is senselessly shot and murdered for trying to help another person who was in trouble. "God is our refuge and strength, a very help in trouble."
A church with a simple congregation. A message from a faithful man in tune with God. A God with perfect timing. A week in which God's word was tried...and proven.