Surprises

This morning at JBC Pastor Mike fainted while preaching in the first service, a scary surprise. They took him by ambulance to the hospital, and determined that he had “Vasovagal Syncope”, “a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure leading to fainting, usually a reaction to a stressful trigger.” It is very common with about 3 million cases a year in the U.S. I have had it happen to me a half dozen times over the years, the last time was when I was giving blood, I haven’t given blood since. I don’t do very much hospital visitation because I quite often faint as a result of “Vasovagal Syncope”, that “stressful trigger” again. It isn’t serious as far as physical ailments go, but it is certainly an inconvenience and annoying, especially as a preacher of the Bible! There have been a number of well known preachers over the years who have had this problem in the early years of their preaching while they were still adjusting to the pressure and stress of the responsibility of teaching the “Word of God”. Most of them coped with it by sitting on a stool while preaching or by taking a drink of water regularly while preaching. Fainting is almost always a scary surprise for everyone involved because of the unknown reason for it happening, and the possibility of the reason being life threatening. Life is full of surprises, some fun, like a party, but more often than not, very scary surprises. People vary in many different areas in their life as people, some have very high IQ’s and some very low, some are incredibly strong physically and others very weak, some get colds several times a year and others hardly ever. One of the areas that Christians have a wide range of difference in, is in their level of trust in God. Trust and faith are very close in meaning, but trust is the result of a strong belief in the existence of God, a belief in His personal love of us as a person, and a belief that He has our life planned and orchestrated for our maximum growth in character. Our strong faith results in an automatic trust to surprises that come into our life. When our trust in God is strong we don’t have to talk or reason ourselves into being calm when surprises come, we just are. A killer of strong trust in God is this prevailing belief sold by our culture that if God exists and really does love us He will protect us from all harm, problems, trials, and unpleasant surprises. The number of young people who are abandoning all belief in the existence of God is growing every year because of this prevailing belief, and the resulting disillusionment that comes into their mind when scary and painful surprises come into their life. The fact is, God purposefully plans scary and painful surprises in our life to make us grow to be more and more like Him in character, but if we don’t trust Him those surprises do the opposite. Psalms 23 is a key passage that I meditate on , “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me”.

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