The Broken Places

This is the third post in the series on God’s sovereignty.  This is the first guest blog writer I have featured on Dipping Into the Heart.

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It is this generation’s “where were you when” moment. Where were you when the Twin Towers came down? I’ll never forget—I was on my way to a weekly pastor’s prayer meeting when I heard the news on the radio about the first tower being hit. When the second tower was hit, we fell to our knees in prayer. Every one of us in that room began thinking and praying: how am I going to make sense of this for my congregation on Sunday?

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I was preaching through some of the Old Testament “Minor” prophets at the time, and it was in that context I could stand up and say this: “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know this: God is still on the throne. What happened on Tuesday didn’t knock Him off that throne. He is still in control, even when I don’t understand it. He didn’t cause the devastation on Tuesday but He will use it. He will bring good even out of this.” The prophets had to believe that. As they stood in the rubble of what was once their thriving society, they had to believe that God was still at work. If God was not, then their faith was useless. It was all in vain.

And history proved them right.

As a pastor, I have seen so many times when people have been broken by their circumstances. Broken lives, broken marriages, broken careers. Lives torn apart by addiction, immorality and worse. But I have also watched as our sovereign God takes those broken pieces and makes them into something beautiful. There is nothing that happens to us that God cannot use, that God cannot redeem. Sometimes we have to wait a long time to see it. Sometimes we may never understand it. But God is not displaced from the throne by the disasters that come into your life. God is working in the midst of it, redeeming the brokenness, and binding up the broken-hearted.

When I was new in ministry, hospital visits were something I had to do but I didn’t enjoy them, so I tried to do them as quickly as I could. Get in, get out, it’s all good. Then I was a patient in the hospital for a while and I learned how long those days can be when you don’t feel good. God used my experience in the hospital to shape me into a better pastor, one who isn’t in quite so much of a hurry but instead tries to pay better attention to people.

God can take our mess and make a miracle out of it. That’s one aspect of His sovereign care for all of creation.

~ Dennis Ticen

Dennis 2015 Staff MPUMCDennis is a pastor and teacher at heart, who seeks to help others know Jesus and the Scriptures better. He and Cathy have been married since 1989, and they have two children, Christopher and Rachel. He has been privileged to travel with both children to various places in the world, most recently traveling in the footsteps of Paul to Turkey, Greece and Italy. He attended Ball State University (B.S., 1989) and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1993). He is an ordained elder in the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and has served three churches across northern Indiana. Currently, he serves Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Terre Haute, Indiana. Among his interests are Mac computers (actually, anything Apple), science fiction and finding the best deals he can on most anything!  You can read his writings on:  http://dlticen.wix.com/home as well as Pastor’s Ponderings.

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