God Still Reigns

God Still Reigns

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

The wife asked me this evening, as she normally does, how my day was. Normally, I mumble something about it being OK, or tough, or pleasant, or whatever, and do my best to forget the day and get on with the evening’s meal and relaxation. Today, however, was a bit different. Oh, the day started out fine and ended wonderfully. Nothing bad happened. But it’s what happened that was good that made this day extra special.
We had the usual things today. One gentleman wanted a tank of gas so he could drive out to Dodge City where home ostensibly was. I went to Quik Trip and put in twenty dollars or so of gas. Someone wanted to know about the food pantry we operate that is across the street. We had the usual phone calls, visitors, etc. Our accountant came in and gave me the news on our personal income tax…not too bad this year. And I went to visit a member who had just recently been dismissed from the hospital and was comfortably ensconced in a rehab facility.
But it was a visit I made just before that visit to the rehab facility that really made my day. You see, recently, I made contact on Facebook with a woman I had known from childhood, yet had lost contact with her over the years. I used to preach at the Milan, Kansas Church of Christ back in the 1980’s, and this woman was a child then, being cared for by her grandparents, who were wonderful Christian people and the bedrock of the church there.
My “reintroduction” to her was a photo of her that was posted on her sister’s website (I’m also a FB friend of her sister.). The photo you see is the photo I saw.
The caption of the post reads, “Darla (not her real name) has 16 months sober!!!! God is so great!!!!!!
I remember seeing her post the bottom left picture and pulling over to the side of the road …. hysterically crying and praying God would save her!!!!!! I love you, Darla….. I am so very proud of you and thankful God saved you!

I asked Darla’s sister about her and got a brief story from her. I then asked if she thought Darla might remember me from the Milan church and friend me. She thought she would. I did, and she did. And I discovered that she was working in Wichita just a few blocks from the church.
One thing led to another, and we finally reconnected today after 30 years. Because she was at work, I didn’t take long, but briefly asked her to tell her story. We conversed a little beyond that and I left, promising to remain in contact with her. She did likewise. Neither of us had dry eyes when I parted her office.
Darla’s story is a powerful, powerful story of redemption, forgiveness, and freedom. From an 83 pound skin-and-bones IV drug user street walking North Broadway in Wichita with all that goes with that lifestyle…having tried AA numerous times and failing each time (I have nothing against AA. It works for many people…it just didn’t work for her.)…she has emerged on the other side a child of the Living God. She overtly and with great passion revels in the forgiveness, redemption, and freedom Jesus Christ has given her. Her eyes sparkle when she talks of her Savior and Lord. Her face is filled with joy, peace, and contentment. Her speech praises the Lord of heaven and earth.
A rebel by nature since childhood, she said she hated Christians…hated them and everything they stood for when she was being held captive by the powers and principalities of hell. She wanted no contact with a family that loved her and ached for her. In answer to my question, she told me that if I had found her on North Broadway, introduced myself, and told her I would help her, she would have rejected me, even knowing who I was. Now, because she decided one evening (for whatever reason…you decide why) to attend a Bible study being held somewhere on North Broadway, and was taken in, loved, sheltered, mentored, and lovingly taught, she has the very identity she once hated, and responds to God in love…not because she has to obey the rules, but rather because of what God has given her…freedom, love, and redemption.
I’ve seen a miracle today. I saw Darla. I hugged Darla. I gave Darla a peck on the cheek when I hugged her. I shed tears of joy for her. Darla is reality. The miracle is reality. God is alive and well. God still reigns. God’s Spirit still moves hearts and stirs passions. Jesus Christ still offers His blood in atonement for sin and gives life in Himself. And Darla is proof positive of that.

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