By Randy C. Davis
TBMB President & Executive Director
Within a 24-hour period I was resoundingly reminded over the weekend of Sept. 23 and 24 of the spiritual battle raging around us.
I was reminded Saturday of the beauty of Christ lived out in the life of those who put their hope in Him. Carolyn Boyd, wife of Forest Hills Baptist Church (Nashville) Pastor Sam Boyd, succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after a nearly four-year battle. Barring the miraculous intervention of God, no one with an understanding of “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” as it is also called, expected a different ending. However, Carolyn chose to fight the disease by faith as aggressively as it fought her against her body. In the end, Carolyn won. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? … But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:55).
Carolyn was a woman of unshakable faith and lived until her last breath as a faithful witness of the hope we have in Christ. Listening to her three daughters, husband, friends and other family members, I was reminded of the beauty of Christ and the victory He won for His people at Calvary. The worship was sweet, meaningful and holy. I thought deeply about all I saw and heard as God spoke to my heart during that service. Carolyn’s testimony to us all was hope personified.
Then driving back Sunday from preaching at Liberty Baptist Church, Wartburg, I was reminded of the evil loose in the world. I heard the gut-wrenching news of the church shooting at Burnett Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, near Nashville. A 39-year-old mother was killed and six others injured, including the pastor and his wife.
The shooter attended church there in the past and had been welcomed by the congregation of mostly senior adults. It was evil personified as hate. I Peter 5:8 came to mind: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
The world seems to grow darker. Many wonder which will win, hope or hate. In full confidence and by the power of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, I declare with certainty the following:
(1) God is on His throne. He is Sovereign Lord of all.
(2) Jesus won! The cross was the victory over evil.
(3) Followers of Christ must be unashamed witnesses of that gospel light.
(4) We must cherish every day as a gift from God, because it is.
(5) This life is fleeting. “Only what’s done for Christ will last” (C.T. Studd).
(6) We must love our friends and family well because everything can change in a heartbeat.
(7) The only safe place is in Christ.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day” (Psalms 91:1-5).
Life’s journey is difficult, but people like Carolyn Boyd remind us that we can know for certain there is hope regardless of circumstances. And it is that hope that makes it a joy to be on this journey with you.