Yesterday, one of our church members gave us quite a scare. Thankfully, everything turned out OK, and it became a wonderful testimony of answered prayer.
Shortly after I woke up Wednesday, I received a text message from a woman in our church saying her husband had gone hiking the previous day, and never returned. Search & Rescue had been notified overnight and were already retracing his route with search dogs and helicopters.
Anyone familiar with the desert knows there are hundreds of square miles of remote land out here. Every year, we hear horror stories of people who got lost or injured in the desert. Sometimes, they are not found for weeks or years, after it is too late.
Immediately, I prayed for this man, and the Lord brought to mind Psalm 139. “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” Although we did not know where the man was at the moment, God knew.
Soon, many other prayer warriors in the church were praying and staying in touch by phone and text message. At noon, I checked back in with the wife, but still there was no news. At 5:45 pm, as I locked up the church and headed home for the day, I thought how every hour that ticks by, there is a greater likelihood this is not going to end well. But I prayed to God, reminding him that he is not bound by statistics, and that he still has the power to bring back this member without serious harm. I asked the Lord for his name’s sake, and on behalf of the many prayers of his people, if he would allow the man to be found very soon.
Then, at 5:57 pm, I received a text from the wife saying, “They just found him. He is alive. We are on our way to get him. Thank you for all your prayers.”
Praise God! What a huge answer to prayer. Apparently, the man is a little banged up, but things could have been much, much worse. We serve a God who cares for his people and protects us daily in ways both seen and unseen.