Peace Amid a Crisis
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33
On a warm Sunday morning in July 2009, Gregory Hunt, the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Shreveport, Louisiana, was preparing for worship to begin. The songs were selected, the congregation was gathering, and the air conditioner was running. Pastor Hunt had worked with an Associate Pastor to fill the pulpit that morning. Everything was going incredibly well until Pastor Hunt saw the wife of a youth group chaperone approaching him with a panic in her demeanor.
Twenty-three students and adults had been on a church bus outside of Meridian, Mississippi, when one of the two left rear tires blew out, causing the bus to land on its side after flipping three times. This crash caused multiple serious injuries and took the lives of two teenagers. Suddenly, Pastor Hunt was in crisis mode. The Associate Pastor scheduled to preach that morning was leaving to join his daughter who had been on the bus. The news was quickly spreading around the sanctuary. How should this be handled? Should the news be addressed from the pulpit? What would worship even look like on this day? First Baptist Church of Shreveport was in crisis.
When writing about that day, Pastor Hunt said he did not have the ability to ignore this moment. “However much we may want to pretend that a crisis isn’t happening, however much we may want to put all the scattered pieces back in the box and get back to normal, we have to accept that this isn’t possible. It’s not going to happen! The sooner we accept this fact the better. We have to gear up and get our head in the game.”
This is so true for us. Any crisis results in a new normal. If we are waiting for things to go back to the way they were, we may find ourselves in for an extremely long wait. Think about the crisis we have found ourselves in and read John 16:33 again. Jesus didn’t say we would have peace in this world; he said we would have troubles in this world, but peace in Him. Jesus didn’t say to take our time, but told us to take heart…have hope.
Crises are going to happen. That’s a given in this world, but we have peace in Christ Jesus. Have hope! He has overcome the world!
Pray: God, thank You for continuing to lead me during this crisis. Help me to look to You for my peace instead of looking for peace in my comfort.
First Baptist Broken Arrow