“All things work together for good to them that love God.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
Hurricane Zeta was less than 24 hours away from the small Mississippi town. The people didn’t know it yet, but Zeta would bring Katrina-like destruction in the next few days. The town’s population rushed to secure their belongings while, on a major state highway, a car was positioned sideways in the road. For the oncoming 18-wheeler, avoiding it would be impossible.
At the moment of impact, the 18-wheeler hit the car dead center instantly killing the driver of the car. His only passenger, a six-month old golden retriever named Lucy, leaped out of the mangled vehicle and bounded toward the dense woods along the highway.
The highway patrol, coroner and first responders arrived at the scene, investigating the circumstances and questioning the driver of the 18-wheeler and other witnesses. Michael Baker, the driver of the ill-positioned vehicle, was 70 years old, a husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, brother-in-law, friend, co-worker, and many things to many people. Mike was a Godly man who loved his church and family, a strong man with a gentle touch. His horses and dogs loved him as much as he loved them.
To this day, the reason for Mike’s vehicle being sideways on the highway is unknown. What is known is that his wife, Betty, was waiting for him in Lucedale, Mississippi. She was returning from Florida after a week of visiting their daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. The son-in-law drove Betty to Lucedale where Mike was to pick her up, then they’d return home. But, he never arrived. After hours of frantic phone calls, the Mississippi Highway Patrol delivered the terrible news to Betty and their son in law. She, in turn, gathered the family together. Did I mention I am Mike’s sister-in-law?
As soon as Hurricane Zeta did its damage and left the area, Dee Ann Murrah, George County coroner and her staff got busy looking for the missing family member: Lucy, the golden retriever. They also had a town to clean up, but as Coroner Murrah said, “she’s not just a dog.”
Their actions reminded me of Jesus’ teaching about how the Good Shepherd leaves the ninety-nine sheep to look for the one that was lost. To Jesus, our Good Shepherd, when we are lost, He doesn’t think of us as “just one.” He will find us no matter long it takes or if he has to travel to the pit of hell to bring us back into the Light.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the Heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the depths you are there.” (Psalms 139: 7-8 NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for never giving up on us. Your love is from everlasting to everlasting. You rescue us from the dark places and lead us in the way everlasting. In Jesus name, Amen.
McComb, Mississippi, USA
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