And It Came To Pass
AND IT CAME TO PASS
Having grown up memorizing Scriptures in the early days of my youth (primarily from the KJV), I remember an old idiom that was sprinkled throughout both the Old and New Testament: AND IT CAME TO PASS. e.g., 1Sam.1:12; 2Kgs.2:1; Lk.2:1; 8:22 & 11:1. It seems to me that this phrase, “and it came to pass”, has about it a measure of versatility - - like the face of Janus - - capable of looking behind as well as gazing ahead. It has the capacity of expressing a sigh of relief, as in the realization of a precious promise of God having come to fruition. It also has the ability to convey comfort in hope - - looking backward with gratitude as one ascertains that a troublesome time of tumult has finally ran its course. It is this latter usage that I want to focus upon at this point in time.
Many among us can vividly recollect the devastation of the 9/11 calamity. It will forever live in our minds as one of the most horrible days we ever witnessed: carnage in Manhattan, D.C., and the Pennsylvania countryside. Although easily recalled, it is now behind us. It came upon us with such shock and awe, but it is now passed, allowing us a time of reflection two decades removed.
I recently completed a reading of David McCollough’s book on the Johnstown Flood. It details a horrific tragedy that occurred on Memorial Day, 1889. Torrential rains poured down on the beautiful Allegheny mountains like never before. A dam burst at the South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club located at a considerably higher elevation some 15 miles or so upstream resulting in a deluge of historic proportions. Johnstown and a number of smaller communities were swept away by the monstrous flood waters. The lake spilled forth with 14.55 million cubic meters of H2O creating a wall of water reaching forty feet high and gathering debris in transit as it raced downhill with incomprehensible ferocity, leaving suffering and death in its terrible wake. Twenty-two hundred people perished that day. Scores were left widowed and orphaned. Some bodies were so dismembered they could not be identified. Cemeteries came to be filled with "the unknown". Some bodies (and body parts) were still being found in the many months following “the great flood". But Johnstown remains. With a little time and a lot of fortitude, the city was quickly rebuilt and many of the townspeople chose to stay put, beginning their lives anew in that very same place. It came, but it also came to pass.
Our beloved nation (and the world) is currently facing a challenge that is shaking us all to the core. None of us has ever witnessed such a happening. We wonder about the future. How will we ever rebound from this present catastrophe? But let us not despair, THIS TOO WILL PASS. How wonderful it would be if we might soon reflect of this present duress with prayerful thanksgiving. We must begin now to look for the good that may lie hidden deep in the rubble of this virulent maelstrom. With God being our helper, sometime in the not-too-distant future we will be able to aptly employ that old King James jargon, It came to pass.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to and end. They are new every morning…
Terry Siverd / Cortland Church of Christ