Dear Lord, what are you doing?
Those were the first words that came to mind this morning. A couple in our church lost their sister-in-law early this morning in a fatal auto accident. I can only imagine the grief they are feeling.
Last week, my aunt died after a long battle with ALS. She was 68 yrs old. Two weeks ago, a cousin died at the age of 30 after a long battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Three weeks ago, a member of my congregation died at the age of 55 from a heart attack. And four weeks ago, my father-in-law died unexpectedly.
Five deaths in five weeks.
There has been so much grief that I couldn’t bring myself to read any of the news on the most recent mass shooting. That story could be its own blog post, but I will leave it to the other bloggers.
Death has a way of bringing a new perspective to your focal point. But five deaths? Five deaths bring you to your knees! Five deaths make you pound the ground with your fist. It makes you cry out to the heavens. But your cries are not the empty questions of “why me”. Your cries become a plea for strength and peace and a way through the valley of the shadow of death.
Five deaths stop you in your tracks. You begin to ask better questions. Questions like: who do I need to forgive? Who do I need to ask forgiveness of? Who do I need to say “I love you”, “I’m proud of you”, “thank you”.
Five deaths drive home the reality that we need one another or we’re going to lose our minds. And it reminds you how desperate we all are for a “Higher Power”.
I believe Jesus is the only One who offers hope in the deepest valley. He is light in the darkness, joy in the mourning, and calm in the storm. I don’t have any concrete answers to why and how and when. And I absolutely have no clue what God is doing!
But I know this – God always makes a way! I trust Him today. Tomorrow I will wake up, make my bed, and step out into the day with the help of God’s grace. By His power, I will minister to hurting souls as I move through my day. And in the morning and in the evening, He will walk with me every step of the way.
Tonight, when you lay your head down, thank Him. Thank God for the good and the bad and the mediocre. And know He is walking beside you every step of the way!