Nov 24

It was one of those events that you look back on at times for the rest of your life.  People, 50 years later, talk about where they were, what they were doing, and how they heard about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  This week, Nov. 22nd to be exact, is the 50th anniversary of that horrible event.

Joyce and I were in the first grade in San Antonio.  (No, not at the same school.  We go way back, but not that far back!!)  I don’t remember much about that day.  But then I don’t remember much about yesterday either.  But I do remember all the teachers crying, and saying that the president had been killed.  Later, living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for twenty years, we were never too far away from the discussions and remembrances of that tragic day in Dallas.

Isaiah experienced something that he would look back on for the rest of his life.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”  At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.  (Isaiah 6:1-4)

The prophet goes on to speak about the effect it had on him—he considered himself a great sinner, and deserving of death because he had had this vision of the Lord.  Yet God brought forgiveness, and a mission.  Isaiah answered the call with the famous response, “Here am I.  Send me.”  Along with this call, however, came the promise that it would be difficult, that people would not respond favorably to his message.

As we go through our lives most of us will experience several very significant events.  Some of them are great things that have happened to us.  Some are tragedies.  These do not have to define us, though we sometimes let them.  But they will always be a part of our history, and a part of our memory.  The question is, what do we do with them?

God has a great history of bringing good things out of difficult circumstances.  The promise of Romans 8:28 is still valid: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

The tragedies and disappointments in our lives do not have to define us, but we must work through them and come to some sense of resolution and acceptance to be able to live the rest of our lives with purpose and fulfillment.  God’s promise is that He will work in all the good and bad of life, and He will work in those events for our good.  Don’t lose the vision: “I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne…”

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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