Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
222 East Epler, Indianapolis IN 46227
October 13, 2013
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
When I was a young preacher Tracy and I went once a week to a nursing home to host a service for the residents. There were a few residents who were faithful to attend every week. One of them was a man named TJ.
TJ was an African. He had worked hard in Africa and saved money so he could come to America. He had went through all of the red tape to get a passport and a visa. His intent was to make enough money to bring his family over to live here. He wanted to make a better life for them.
Before he could do that, however, he had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. He found himself unable to work to support himself. Of course he could not make enough money to bring his family over. That dream had died.
Not only could he not make enough money to bring his family over neither he nor they could make enough money for him to go back home. He was stranded in America and placed in a nursing home though he was only in his fifties.
He was now a man without family or friends. He was a man completely dependent on charity to survive. In this case, the charity of the United States government.
Many people would have become bitter about how God had let his life turn out. His family was thousands of miles away. He had no hope for a brighter future in this life. Yet he was faithful to attend our little service.
TJ sang a song for us occasionally. To be honest it was a song I had never liked but when TJ sang it I changed my mind. He did not sing it to us. He did not sing it well even. What made it different was who he sang it to. It was as if we were not even in the room. He was not singing about God either. He was singing to God.
The song he sang was “How Great Thou Art”. Next time you are complaining about how your life has turned out and what you are going through. Remember TJ’s song. If he could still praise God in the storms of life surely you can too.