I was listening to a message from John Piper. He was telling about a mother who was killed, with her baby, while sitting with her husband in a single-engine Cessna 185 floatplane over the jungles of Peru in April 2001. The Peruvian Air Force mistook the missionary plane for a drug plane and opened fire. Missionary Veronica Bowers, age 35, was holding her seven-month-old daughter Charity in her lap behind the pilot Kevin Donaldson. With them were Veronica’s husband Jim and six-year-old son Cory. The pilot’s legs were shot and he put the plane into an emergency dive and amazingly landed it on a river where it sank just after they all got out. One bullet had passed by Jim’s head and made a hole in the windshield. Another bullet passed through Veronica’s back and stopped inside her baby, killing them both.
Two weeks later Jim Bowers stood in front of twelve hundred people in Calvary Church of Fruitport, Michigan and said, “Most of all I want to thank my God. He’s a sovereign God. I’m finding that out more now. . . . Could this really be God’s plan for Roni and Charity; God’s plan for Cory and me and our family? I’d like to tell you why I believe so, why I’m coming to believe so.”
He goes on to give a long list of unlikely events in and after the shooting, and alludes to God’s sending his Son to the cross. Here are some of the key sentences that only those who trust in God’s sovereign care for his own will truly understand. He said, “Roni and Charity were instantly killed by the same bullet. (Would you say that’s a stray bullet?) And it didn’t reach Kevin [the pilot] who was right in front of Charity; it stayed in Charity. That was a sovereign bullet. . . .”
It’s hard from me to wrap my head around this kind of thinking. But it does make sense, if I think about it. God didn’t CAUSE that bullet that killed that young mother and baby, but He certainly knew it would happen. He is certainly in control of all things. God is GOOD, LOVING, KIND, WISE, PERFECT, JUST, FAITHFUL……etc., etc., etc.
So in the trials that our family is bearing right now….. can I think the same way? God isn’t CAUSING the alcoholic to pick up the bottle of vodka. But He certainly know what is going on. Oh, how I long to trust Him and have the kind of faith of Jim Bowers.