I’m still tired.
As I sit here in my office listening to music I can’t escape the odd silence that surrounds me. It’s a contradiction really. Music playing, but I here nothing…time standing still as I sit and ponder the realities I am involved in. As I look back at what has transpired these past few days my brain fumbles…Friday seems like it was weeks ago. Sunday came and never in my life did I think that I would have to stand in front of people and share the kind of news that was given. They don’t really teach you about how to handle things like that in Bible College.
As I watched the shock give way to confusion, the confusion give way to anger, and the anger give way to sadness – I realized something…God is still God. It seems like a simple statement, but the truth is it’s a deeper concept than any of us can fully grasp. The reality is, what has happened does not change who God is. What has happened does not change who Jesus is. What it does change is us…and what that change entails is determined by how we handle this painful time.
It would be easy to rest in anger, pain, guilt, hate, irritation, hopelessness, and sadness…and believe me it is OK to feel all of those things…but when we rest in those things…when we give in to the negative we slowly become hardened. We become mere memories of our former selves…and we loose sight of the truth that is right before our eyes.
Romans 5:4-5 says, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because We know that suffering produces endurance; endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us.”
I believe in hope. I believe it does not disappoint us. I believe it is a gift from God. I believe that in this time we have a unique opportunity to be honest with our spouses and friends about our feelings, thoughts, struggles, and weaknesses. I believe we have an opportunity to bless particular families in ways they could have never expected. I believe we have a chance to learn from the mistakes of others. I believe we have a chance to rise above and show how beautiful the bride of Christ really is. I believe that it is in this hope that we are able to see the church at it’s best.
Satan has not won…and I will not stop fighting.
Although the future is unclear, I believe more than ever that God is calling me to be a person of hope, compassion, truth, and love. And I know it is in those things that I am able to surrender and trust God to lead me through the battles. Let our attention not be on those that have caused the pain, but on those that are wounded by it. We have to keep singing. Let us crawl into the lap of God and weep…let his compassion wash over us and give us strength…allow him to sing over us…as he prepares us for the celebration of victory that is Easter. I refuse to let Satan steal that from us.
My friends…my hope and prayer is that we find time to rest, that we are honest with how we feel and wise in how we share it, that we are realistic in that all of this can’t be fixed in a week, month, or even a year…my hope and prayer is that those that have been affected by all that has happened will be willing to show patience to each other, that we can love one another and serve one another, that we can wash each others feet, that we can help one another up out of the mud and allow God to lead us forward…together as one body…united…broken but beautiful.
I don’t know when this silence will break…or when confusion will give way to clarity…or even when anger will give way to peace…What I do know is that there will come a day when we will begin to hear something faintly around us…it will be a sweet sound, one of celebration…one of victory…until that time comes however, know that I will keep fighting…I will keep pursuing…I will rest in hope and trust God to lead me through the battles…and I hope you will join me in the journey.
When men fall we weep…but never forget that hope endures.