All the pastor’s wife could do was walk, jog, sing and pray! Otherwise, watching a community unravel one job at a time would have been demoralizing. Each day, she jogged around a former economic center where textile production declined and little by little the jobs went elsewhere. It was not a shock when industry leaders announced that the remaining 8,000 jobs—of what once had been 25,000 jobs—would soon diminish as well. In fact, the 350 acres in the middle of town was readied for demolition and the downtown region reeled from the effects.
She prayed daily; she prayed that something would spring out of the rubble and the heaviness that had settled over the city. Surrounded by the largest demolition project ever in the entire state, she declared that God could do the miraculous. She dared to believe that something vital would emerge out of this devastating scenario, something even better than what had been there before. She walked, jogged, sang and prayed!
Last month, Debbie and I toured her city and saw firsthand the answer to the prayers she and others had prayed for so long! There is a new industry rising from this land that will employ an estimated 30,000 people, raise the economic salary base by 100 percent, engage the partnership of over 11 universities and colleges, revitalize a downtown and restore life and hope to a downtrodden city.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the emotion and reality of life when it seems to be coming apart at the seams. It’s difficult in the middle of the storm to hear the word of the Lord and hold on to a hope that God will reverse a negative situation.
Jesus, too, wept over His city. He saw the desperation of a people, tore down the curtain (obstacles) between God and man, making it possible for them and us to enter the Holy of Holies, approach the throne of God and petition the One who can alter any circumstance!
Perhaps you’ll join me today to walk, jog, sing and pray over something that needs a miracle. Maybe the hymn, “In Christ Alone,” written only seven years ago by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend, will encourage you as we pray:
In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
What fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.