Lutheran Campus Ministry at SMSU
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer." Romans 12:12
Last week at the Campus Religious Center a group of students and leaders organized a week long prayer event. For one week, in one-hour slot increments, students signed up to pray around the clock for the campus, for students and professors, for Marshall, for families and friends, for whatever God was putting on their hearts. It was an amazing week. Watching students come in one after another to pray for Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall and one another was truly inspiring. Often during the week I would get a mass text from a student saying, "I'm in the CRC praying. Does anyone have any prayer requests?" I was blown away by their faithfulness and conviction.
That being said, it was also a hard week for us here at the campus. One of our students, a friend, a teammate and a young man of faith, Ben Bundy, died of an aneurism. Ben came to worship every week. He was a great young man. His death reverberated through campus. There was, and is, deep sorrow. We had prayed for healing, but it didn't happenat least not in the way we wanted. We live in the midst of brokenness and death while we live in the world. However, God has a plan to address our sorrow, pain, suffering, death and all the brokenness of this world. God's plan is not with a quick fix, but with an eternal solution - our salvation, through Jesus Christ.
There was patient suffering during the week. We all miss Ben, but we do not grieve as those without hope! (1 Thessalonians 4) No, we know where Ben is and who holds him. We know that his healing came by Jesus' gift to us of salvation. Knowing this, we have hope. In fact, as Christians we can do what might sound crazy in this situation - we can rejoice. We can rejoice that death doesn't have the last word in Ben's life. Instead, Jesus has the last word in the life of His children and the word He speaks is LIFEeternal life!! We have hope because we are going to see Ben again one day. All of us in the ministries here on campus are grieving AND rejoicing! As Ben's father said at his funeral; "God is still the same God that he was before Ben died. God is still good and loving!" That is the truth and in it we can rejoice in hope!
One student said to me the other day regarding Ben's death; "What would we have donewhat would the campus have done if we wouldn't have been praying around the clock during all this??!" The prayers of the faithful sustained all of us this past week. "Persevere in prayer" the text saysand we did.
God is calling to you today. Take the example of these college students to heart. They inspire us all to "rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, and persevere in prayer."