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"When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
'Death is swallowed up in victory.'
'O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?'
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15:54-57).
In the last four weeks, the Bolivar Central High School community has experienced trauma of the worst kind: death.

Four weeks ago, on a Monday morning, we received word that a recent BCHS graduate, Trey Polk, was killed in a tragic car accident.  But that was only the beginning.

That same week, on Friday, Justin West, a junior at BCHS, was involved in a serious car accident.  Justin was taken to the hospital where he remained in intensive care for almost two weeks in a coma.

That following Monday, another student at BCHS, Donald Hemker, was killed in yet another car accident on his way to school early that morning.  Immediately, the community was brought to their knees.

And then today, Wednesday, November 13, 2013, Justin West was taken by death after battling for weeks in a coma.

Death.  What a devastating and hopeless five letter word.  Questions of why always abruptly surface after such tragedy.

The community of Bolivar Central High School and the entire surrounding communities have been hit extremely hard by this five letter word.  What is one to do in such times?

I am reminded of a story I recently heard involving a father and his son.

A father and his son were sailing on a ship across a northern lake.  The water was bitter cold.  Suddenly the ship began to sink into the icy depths.  The father and son tried to escape, but only the son survived by clinging to a rock.

Early the next morning, rescuers found the young boy shivering in the icy waters, clinging tightly to the rock.  The rescuers asked the boy after they pulled him to safety, "Son, were you shivering and shaking like this all night?"

The boy replied, "I shook all night long, but the rock didn't."

What a beautiful picture of our Rock - our Mighty Fortress, Strong Tower, and the God of all.

No matter what this evil world brings our way, we have the hope of standing strong by clinging and trusting to The Rock of Ages.

In closing, I love the verses in I Corinthians chapter 15 speaking of death.  "'O Death, where is your victory?  O Death, where is your sting?'"  "Death has been swallowed up in victory!"

The hopeless five letter word of Death has been swallowed up in victory through the blood and the power of the most powerful five letter word you will ever know: Jesus.

"Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal" (Isaiah 26:4).