I sat crying yesterday as the news of the Nashville school shooting came, not just from my television, but from family and friends.
My brother-in-law grew up with the dad of one of the little girls who was killed. My sister-in-law had gone to college with him when he started a ministry there. My husband knew him since he was a kid.
We know another whose son is not speaking and in shock from watching his friends die.
Still another friend sent a prayer request from her family member who is a former teacher of another child who died and is also in Bible study with the shooter’s mom.
Can you imagine?
These are real people with unimaginable pain. They are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
Just knowing about what has happened has shaken me.
How we still feel the effects of this fallen world. Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we are immune from that.
The sin of others still hurts us physically and emotionally.
Sometimes, I think, we believe we are being faithless when we feel.
When asked how we are doing, some seem to think we are being unspiritual if we don’t respond “fine”, “blessed”, “great”.
But, the truth is, we don’t always feel “fine”, “blessed” and “great”.
God shows us, throughout His Word, so many examples of His faith-filled saints having moments of fear, sadness and not understanding.
And perhaps, like those who came before us, like David in the Psalms, it’s okay to admit we have struggles. Let’s stop acting like we are all fine, when many are feeling like they are ready to fall apart.
Let’s start telling a few, trustworthy, God-seeking others the truth about how we are doing. Let’s be vulnerable.
But let’s also encourage one another and all the more as we see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:25)
Let’s be honest enough to let ourselves be encouraged. Let’s check on each other. Let’s help each other hold tight to Jesus.
Let’s remember our tears don’t disqualify us.
God told His children, His beloved children, that they would have them…why else does He also tell us He will wipe them all away one day? (Rev 21:4)
The truth is, when our faith is strong, Jesus is there. When we fall apart, He is still there. He is still our hope.
He doesn’t walk the other way.
He keeps walking towards us.
He hasn’t left us now, even in these scary, uncertain, and hard days that we do not understand.
And today, I just need to remember that. I need to remember where our Hope still comes from.