You may have heard the story of Togo the Dog and his miraculous run (if you have Disney+, watch his movie tonight, itís a good one!). It was 1925 and Nome, Alaska faced a crisis of catastrophic proportions. It had started off not so alarmingly, just with a few children who had sore throats. Nomeís doctor, Curtis Welch, assumed they were a few isolated cases that would clear up in no time.
However, as days turned to weeks and sore throats turned to what looked like tonsillitis, which eventually killed these and other children, Dr. Welch feared the worst: Diphtheria. While less common today due to a vaccine, in the 1920ís diphtheria was often a death sentence. With complications ranging from kidney failure to paralysis and ultimately to death, Dr. Welch knew he needed to act fast. Because of how contagious Diphtheria can be, if he didnít act quickly every single one of the 2000 residents in isolated Nome were in serious danger.
But there was a major problem, while Dr. Welch had ordered Diphtheria vaccine ahead of the winter season, it had not arrived. In fact, it was held up in a port in Nenana, Alaska, some 674 miles away. And due to the weather, any transport by train or plane would have taken too long, with deadly consequences. The town was in a desperate situation, and thatís where Togo comes in.
You see it was concluded the only way to get the vaccine to Nome in time was via dog sled. So, a plan was devised where the vaccine would trade hands along the route until it reached Nome. Togo, the other dogs and their musher, Leonhard Seppala, ended up with the longest part of the route Ė over 260 miles. Through fierce winds, across a frozen body of water, and on the brink of exhaustion, Togo and the others were able to bring the vaccine to Nome within days and save hundreds of lives in the process. After a time of anxious waiting, hope had arrived.
You know, waiting on the Lord can seem like a real struggle. In the face of unknowns over health, relationships, or even a churchís pastor search, we can get into crisis mode. Wondering what will happen next, sometimes we panic. Other times we develop hasty solutions, we even speculate on things we donít fully understand, or we might just give up all together.
But it seems with attitudes like that, we can forget who is in control and who never wonders whatís coming. We serve a God who promises that, like Togo to the citizens of Nome, HE will rescue us. Whether it be in giving us patience in a season of waiting, healing an ailment in a time of trial, or even preparing our hearts to meet Him at the end. The Lord will keep us and all we must do is ďBe still and know that (He) is God.Ē Proverbs 46:10
I know sometimes things can be alarming, tough or just uncertain. Trust me, I have many days like that, too. But I want you to know this good news: Jesus is with us, and he is beside us, in the waiting, and the wondering. So, there is no cause for fear, for anxiety, for uncertainty. Because we can be certain in his ever-present love and the good he desires to bring about for you, and for us.
As we look forward to February, be sure to mark your calendar for our Empty Bowls lunch to benefit the Sand-Hill Venable Backpack Program, and our Baptist Menís Day with special testimonies and music. They will be great blessings which will remind us that Christ has us in His hand, Starnes Cove. So whatever concerns you see on the horizon, know he is just over that snow-capped hill, coming with help and hope.
In Jesus' Arms, William