“…Jesus said, ‘It is finished’” (John 19:30a, NIV 2011).
Many years ago, Dr. Gloria Halverson and her husband were traveling down an isolated road into Burundi during the killing times of the Rwandan genocide. They were there to provide counseling and training for those who had suffered from the tragedy, and they had been told the road was safe.
After passing a number of Burundi checkpoints manned by Burundi in uniform they drew near their destination—one more checkpoint, soldiers waiting to inspect. Another van was traveling in front of them and was stopped ahead at the request of the soldiers. Gloria’s van was following closely but a soldier separated from the others held up his hand and told them to wait at some distance.
Dr. Halverson watched as the soldiers ahead opened the doors to the van and pulled the triggers on their AK-47s, killing everyone inside. The driver in Gloria’s van floored the gas pedal, accelerated around the massacre and rushed through the checkpoint, followed by a hail of bullets that shattered the glass through which Gloria was watching the tragedy. All she could say as she saw her death approaching was, “Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.”
Gloria and her fellow travelers survived the horror and, to a person, believe that the soldier who raised his hand to hold them back was an angel sent from God. The rest were rebels dressed in uniforms of soldiers they had killed.
Was the man dressed as a soldier, who held up his hand and saved their lives, an angel or a bloodthirsty rebel whom God used for His purpose? I have no reason to deny the former, though God works in many ways.
Does God still use angels to intervene in the lives of the faithful? Dr. Halverson would say yes from her experience, as I would from mine.
How He works is His business. What we do know is that He works; He intervenes; He acts in our lives such that His will shall be accomplished. By angel or confused rebel, by dedicated physician on the road to Burundi or by His Word, by words from a friend or by a dedicated physician in Kansas, by a nurse or by a pastor, by you or by me, He will use whom He will, so that nothing will stop His plan—not AK-47, sickness, malpractice, financial ruin, personal betrayal, your death, my death or “anything else in all creation” will keep God from redeeming His world in the way He chooses. Praise His Name.
Help me know that the victory is won and nothing can prevent you from redeeming your creation.