by John C. Miller



Some of the ways that God uses to speak to His church are not what we would
choose, but we recognize that they are perfect. His ways are much higher than
ours and far beyond the understanding of our finite minds.

During one Sunday morning service in 1992, we received a piece of shocking
news. While traveling back to Buenos Aires after a few days of vacation,
Alfredo Sordian - one of our church pillars - and his family, were involved in
a tragic auto accident. His wife Noemi was instantly killed. The other four
passengers were miraculously saved. A man had gone to sleep at the wheel and
ran his car head-on into Alfredo's car, totally demolishing it. The presiding
judge remarked that "There wasn't just one death, but four resurrections." The
Sordians were directors of the Bible school that year. All the circumstances
surrounding the event have truly marked a new phase for our church.


As we commemorate again together this Easter the death and resurrection of our
Lord, we recall His words, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that
believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." (John 11:25)
Death begets life. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it
abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24)
Death is necessary before life can come forth. Many are the times in life when
we "sow in tears" and "go forth weeping." But, if we are born of the Spirit,
and the Spirit of Christ is in us, we are bearing "precious seed", and we
"shall reap in joy" and "shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing
his sheaves with him." (Psalms 126:5,6)
We tend to forget that within the seed, buried deep beneath dark sod,
something is stirring. The seed might cry out in despair, "My God, my God, why
hast thou forsaken me?" (Mat. 27:46, Psalm 22:1) Yet, that seed is awakened
through "death", and it's at this time that the miracle of life begins.
Somewhere deep within, that new life is in the making. A healthy, strong
fruit-bearing tree is being formed. When faith is gone and hope is spent, when
our cupboards finally empty of selfish ambitions, soulish belief and natural
strengths, when we finally stop trying, stop prying and start dying, when
"death" has done its work ii us THEN God's deeper work begins! He starts there
in the dark emptiness of the sod, the sorrow, and the grave. His work of
creation began when "the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was
upon the face of the deep." It was then that "the Spirit of God moved upon the
face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2)

DARKNESS - where God works. "Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where
God was." (Exodus 20:21)

DARKNESS - where treasures often lie. "And I will give thee the treasures of
darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I,
the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." (Isaiah 45:3)

It was with the dark soil that "the LORD God formed man of the dust of the
ground." Then when God was through with His work (a work Adam wasn't even
aware was being done), "God.... breathed into his nostrils the breath of
life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)

IT WAS AS HE SLEPT that God was bringing forth Adam's longings for a
companion. Perhaps as he lay there sleeping he was dreaming that God had
forgotten His promise. But, in reality, the opposite was taking place. As he
slept God "...took one of his ribs..... made he a woman, and brought her unto
the man." (Genesis 2:21,22)

IT WAS AS ABRAM SLEPT that God's great covenant was given. "...a deep sleep fell
upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him... (and) the LORD
made a covenant with Abram..." (Genesis 15:12-18)

IT WAS AS JACOB SLEPT that God visited him. "And Jacob awaked out of his
sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not." When
he awoke, still surrounded by the darkness, "he was afraid, and said, How
dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is
the gate of heaven." (Genesis 28:16,17)

IT WAS AS LAZARUS SLEPT that Jesus drew near. "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth;
but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." (John 11:11)

IT WAS AS PETER SLEPT that deliverance came. "Peter was sleeping between two
soldiers... and, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him... And his chains
fell off from his hands... And he went out... and wist not that it was true
which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision." That very same
night "prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." Yet so
lacking in faith was their prayers that night that when little Rhoda came to
say Peter was indeed at the door, they said, "Thou art mad. But she constantly
affirmed that it was even so." God answers prayer but often He waits till our
nights to do so. "Then said they, It is his angel." They thought that Herod
had finally killed him, and they believed they were seeing his angel or his
ghost. "But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and
saw him, they were astonished."
(Acts 12: 6-16)

IT WAS AS THE DISCIPLES TRIED TO SLEEP, who were fearful behind closed doors
and lamenting their loss that "Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith
unto them, Peace be unto you... Then were the disciples glad, when they saw
the Lord." (John 20:19,20) Can't you hear the gentle, loving, chiding words of
our Lord, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matthew

God works wonders in the dark times. And, the same God Who formed the darkness
also formed the light. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of
darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (II Corinthians 4:6)