“It was hard being staying there in Arkansas for over 30 days, but we never felt alone,” Cummings said. “It was so humbling to see and hear from people all across the country.”
Cummings, who has been the pastor at Fincastle for almost 25 years, posted a video update on Facebook that quickly received more than 40,000 views. Word of the accident began to spread, and support and love came pouring in from all over.
The family received thousands of texts from all over, offering prayers and support. SBC of Virginia staff assisted the church with immediate needs, and Fincastle Baptist members prayed and supported Cummings as they awaited his return. They would later even build a ramp for him to come up onto the platform to preach in a wheelchair.
Even Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, where his son Brent was moving to join the church staff, sent the family a gift basket in the hospital.
Cummings also serves as a trustee with GuideStone Financial Resources. When GuideStone President Emeritus O.S. Hawkins heard the story, he asked another local church to come visit and minister to him while he was in Little Rock.
“We know we’re never alone as Christians because of our relationship with God, but we’re also part of God’s family, the Church,” Cummings said. “I’ve never been more grateful to be a part of the family of God.”
Once Cummings was out of the hospital and back in Virginia, a long road of recovery awaited him.
He would slowly move from a wheelchair, to a walker, to crutches, to a cane and eventually to walking on his own feet. The recovery process usually involved some form of physical therapy every day, whether through home exercises or guided by a therapist. He is currently walking months ahead of where they predicted he would be able to.
Known for his passion and creative evangelism methods, Cummings used his time in physical therapy as a way to have spiritual conversations.
He invited his physical therapist, who is not a Christian, to listen to a Sunday service in March, during which he spoke about what he has learned spiritually through the accident.
In the sermon, Cummings said the phrase he kept repeating during this difficult season: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.”
After watching the service, his physical therapist posted that phrase on the ceiling for Cummings to view as he did his therapy exercises.
Cummings said his main takeaway from the accident has been a reminder of God’s goodness. His advice to others going through hard times is to focus on their hearts, and not their circumstances.
“In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us,” Cummings said. “I can’t control what happens to me, including just freak things, but I can always control my response.
“My prayer has been what Paul said in Philippians 1:12, that what has happened to me will serve to advance the Gospel. That’s been my prayer all along, and if I have a relationship with Jesus, I know He will ultimately heal my hurts because one day I’m going to be with Him in Heaven.”
This article originally appeared at Baptist Press.