August 6, 2020
Volume 24, Number 27
Doris Crippen couldn’t have felt good about testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. At age 73 she was in a high-risk category. While dealing with some of the virus’s difficult symptoms she fell and broke her arm. After spending more than a month in the hospital, she was discharged to spend more time in a Nebraska rehabilitation facility. What blessings could there be in these circumstances?
Bev Boro was a medication aide at the facility to which Doris was admitted. As she looked over the list of patients under her charge she couldn’t believe her eyes. Doris Crippen was someone she had been searching for for years. After a short time the two confirmed that they were indeed long-separated sisters.
The father of the sisters (Bev is twenty years younger than Doris) had fathered ten children by three different wives. When Bev was only six months old she was placed in foster care and eventually adopted. Finally the two have been reunited. Crippen now regards catching the COVID-19 virus a blessing. How else could they have met?
We don’t know the name of the man in charge of keeping prisoners in the city of Philippi. It must have seemed an average day when two new prisoners were delivered to him for safekeeping. Those men were different, though. Instead of moaning and complaining about their treatment, they “were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25). The men were the apostle Paul and his companion Silas.
Late in the night there was an earthquake, and the jailer could hear squeaking hinges and rattling iron doors. “The prisoners are escaping!” he thought, and immediately envisioned the torturous death he would face from the Roman authorities. He was ready to end his life when Paul called out to say that no one had escaped.
By early morning this jailer and others in his family were rejoicing. He had asked Paul “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) and Paul taught him the simple plan for forgiveness of sins. The plan included “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31), and culminated with the jailer and others being baptized (Acts 16:33).
Sometimes great good comes out of seeming tragedy. In fact that’s one of the precious promises Christians enjoy: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). The New American Standard Bible translates that verse more accurately: “God causes all things to work together for good …” It’s not a coincidence; it’s God’s doing.
Bad things come to all who live. But can good things come out of those bad events? With God working in our lives, count on it! The ultimate good will be everlasting life.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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