Published (July 20, 2010)
"Tragedy & Romans 8:28"
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
If you, as a Christian, totally believe that, it makes everything that happens in life so much easier to take.
Mike Bowling believes it.
As you've most likely heard, the Bowling Family's bus, headed for a concert appearance July 1st , slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer which had stopped in front of them on Interstate 85 near Charlotte, NC. Eleven people were hurt, some seriously, but all survived.
Among the most seriously injured were Mike Bowling, his wife, Kelly, and their daughter, Katelynn. Mike had to be airlifted to a trauma center for severe head injuries (he still suffers intense headaches). Kelly suffered severe back injuries and remains in a back brace in a hospital-style bed. She had suffered a fracture of her L1 disk and is likely to remain in that brace for at least three months, according to doctors. Daughter Katelynn, age 6, will probably have surgery on her left collar bone, although a significant laceration over her eye is healing well. Sister Terah Penhollow required arm surgery.
All of this naturally takes the Bowling Family off the road for many months. They won't be able to minister in their usual way. They won't be doing what they normally do to make a living. Their usual income is completely disrupted. All of this could make someone bitter. One could question God as to why He would allow such a terrible thing to happen.
But not Mike.
"We know we go through things in life that sometimes we don't understand," Mike told me. It would be understandable for Mike to ask, as he did to me rhetorically, "God, why does this happen to me? Why does this happen to my family? And what am I to learn from this, because I trust you anyway. I know that you're God."
Mike has come up with this answer to his "why" question: "Sometimes, Paul, I believe we go through things and I know we do in my personal life that maybe it's just not for us, but maybe someday down the road we can help somebody else that is going through something like this. And I know there's a reason and I don't question God, I just trust him and I know that good is going to come out of this..."
Shortly after the accident, I received an e-mail from Officer Jonathan Marr of the Gaston County Police Department. He told me, "I was one of the first officers on the scene of the Bowling Family's horrific incident. Though the scene seemed that of a catastrophe when I arrived, I can say without any shadow of a doubt GOD WAS THERE! No one should have come away from that scene [alive], and all did! God is good!..."
What a wonderful testimony! In fact, Mike told me that although he can't remember much about what happened in the emergency room that night "those policemen who were there, it was amazing... they were just so spiritually-minded and thanking God, and I was just so amazed they were thanking God along with us that we'd been spared."
I think Romans 8:28 is kicking in already! What a testimony this was even in the emergency room to everyone there! Mike says this: "God is God and ... if He doesn't prove anything else, He's [already] proven to me that He's God just by sparing our lives in such a horrible accident." After all, only He could do it.
A few years ago, the Bowlings recorded a song called "God Of Every Situation," and the lyrics of the chorus seem more timely than ever:
He's the God of every situation
And there is nothing that He can't do
No matter what you're facing
There's not a situation
That He will not carry you through
So trust Him and keep believing
Every promise He promised is true
Cause the God of every situation will do
Everything He said He would do.*
Back about the time that song was recorded, Mike told me, "...everybody goes through battles in their lives everyday. Satan tries to bring us down and a lot of times he does....but he can't win. We'll always come back up fine because we have the blood of Jesus applied to our minds. We're the victors, we're the overcomers through His name. We have the power."
I have three requests. First, please pray regularly for the safety of Gospel artists as they travel hundreds of thousands of miles each year, crisscrossing North America (and beyond) to share the Gospel in song. They really do need God's hand of miraculous protection. (And you can include in that the people who are traveling to hear them sing!)
Second, if you would like to send a card or note to the Bowling Family, here's the address: Bowling Family, 242 West Main Street, PMB 373, Hendersonville, TN 37075. Information about making a contribution to help them in their time of significant financial need can be found on their website, www.bowlingfamilyonline.com (blue box below the accident story on the left).
And, third, of course, please pray for a miraculously speedy and complete recovery for everyone involved in this accident.
Every healing, fast or slow, is a testimony to God's miraculous power and grace.
*Lyrics by Marty Funderburk and Savana Foust, Winding Way Music, ASCAP
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