I just knew that metal crushing sound was not right. A tugu tree was cut down, and it had fallen right on top of our newly renovated building, which houses the remedial classroom, isolation room (for sick children) and clinic.
It had fallen right smack in the middle of the isolation room. One of our teacher aides was there, along with the sleeping baby of our other staff member. Both, thankfully, were unscathed.
As I looked at this incredible spectacle I just felt my whole body go numb. I was very thankful to have someone to call. Our school Director is a very Godly, calm, sober-minded and wise man. He is my age but he has the wisdom that comes from God, along with years of dealing with difficult situations like this.
After seeking for prayers from friends through Facebook, and informing the team about the damage on Voxer, we briefly discussed ways to clear the rubble and keep the building from further damage. I say “we” but I was mostly listening and watching while our Director handled everything.
“Just keep your heart,” he told me as we sat in my office. “We will work on this together.” I thanked him, and the practical questions in my mind ceased for the moment. I trusted God’s hand upon this man. Amazing. I have someone that I can completely trust. He is a true brother in Christ.
I used to jump into action at these times. Today there was just nothing I could think of to do. I could just stare into space. I wondered about my failure as a leader. I doubted my ability for the simplest tasks. I knew the teachers needed me to reassure them. I wasn’t. I was sitting in my office, confused and defeated. Perhaps it was time to surrender the leadership of the school to those who seem to be doing it so much better. FAILURE was written all over my brain, my heart, and even my countenance.
Then I remembered the great tragedy that struck Charles Spurgeon’s ministry when he was a young minister.
On the evening of October 19, 1856, Spurgeon was to commence weekly services at the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall. That morning he preached at New Park Street Chapel on Malachi 3:10: “Prove me now.” With chillingly prophetic voice he declared, “ … I may be called to stand where the thunderclouds brew, where the lightnings play, and tempestuous winds are howling on the mountain top. Well, then, I am born to prove the power and majesty of our God; amidst dangers he will inspire me with courage; amidst toils he will make me strong.… We shall be gathered together tonight where an unprecedented mass of people will assemble, perhaps from idle curiosity, to hear God’s Word; and the voice cries in my ears, ‘Prove me now.’ … See what God can do, just when a cloud is falling on the head of him whom God has raised up to preach to you.…
That evening Surrey Hall, capable of holding up to twelve thousand, was overflowing with an additional ten thousand people in the gardens. The service was underway when, during Spurgeon’s prayer, several malicious miscreants shouted, “Fire! The galleries are giving way!” In the ensuing panic, seven people died and twenty-eight were hospitalized with serious injuries. Spurgeon, totally undone, was literally carried from the pulpit and taken to a friend’s house where he remained for several days in deep depression.
Later he remarked, “Perhaps never soul went so near the burning furnace of insanity, and yet came away unharmed.” At last he found comfort in the verse “Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name.” Spurgeon was but a soldier; the Lord was the Captain of the host, hence victory was assured. Yet until Spurgeon’s death, the spectre of the calamity so brooded over him that a close friend and biographer surmised: “I cannot but think, from what I saw, that his comparatively early death might be in some measure due to the furnace of mental suffering he endured on and after that fearful night.” – From Christian Today Library
I don’t have that trial that Spurgeon had, but I have the same God. I can trust Him. My heart and my strength fails, but God is the strength of my heart forever (Psalm 73:26)
God, my faith fails tremendously on this day. I am anxious, I am weary. Be my strength and my hope. Amen.