Millions of people across Canada are in a state of shock and confusion. A few days ago, tragedy struck a group of young men when their team bus collided with a truck. Fifteen people died in this terrible accident. The Humboldt Broncos were not known by many people outside of the communities they played in. Today, the team, community, and all families involved are in the hearts and minds of people around the world.
During the vigil held on Sunday night, the team’s pastor Sean Brandow delivered a powerful message. Brandow has been honest about the confusion he is feeling. He was not afraid to ask the question so many others are asking – “Where is God?” In the midst of his own grief, he has been a man able to bring hope.
More Than a Motto
In his speech, Brandow shared the team motto painted on their bus: “Character Determines Success.”
How is a man who is thrust into the darkest moments able to withstand the pressure? How can a man who is experiencing loss at such a deep level able to have the strength to help others?
Character is most often revealed in the most difficult seasons. I do not know Sean Brandow, but I believe he has shown incredible character in the last few days. His speech gives us a glimpse of where this character comes from:
I told my church this this morning, I’ve never felt so empty in my life. I needed to be reminded of Jesus, I needed to hear from God in this darkness. I didn’t have anything to give because I wasn’t full of hope myself. As the verse ends, you know, may God fill you with that. God can fill you up so that you can be a blessing to somebody else, but if you don’t have hope, you can’t be a blessing to anyone else.
Brandow’s character has been shaped through his own relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Everything invested in his relationship with God has prepared him for this moment.
Here is the thing – there is a different standard of success in the eyes of God than in the eyes of the world we live in. In the eyes of God, success is found by being faithful with what God has entrusted to you. Today, millions of people across Canada know that God walks with the brokenhearted. Canadians have heard the hope of Jesus Christ because one broken man cared enough to speak. I am certain this is not the type of success he envisioned or even desired. Sean Brandow has been a faithful man of God in this moment.
On behalf of the entire team at Promise Keepers Canada, I want to acknowledge our prayers for all whose lives have been impacted. I pray that Mr. Brandow will stay close to Jesus and continue to be filled with hope because the journey of healing will be long. We pray for the families who have lost their sons, and ask God to surround them with peace and comfort. May all who are brokenhearted encounter the hope and love of Jesus.