Hope in the midst of pain…

Hearts all over the country are hurting. Specifically hearts out east, as the rest of the country sympathizes.
It’s unthinkable. There is no easy answer.

The same day those babies and teachers were killed, my boys were first on the scene of a fatal accident in which another baby girl met Jesus along with her mom. Leaving behind an injured twin sister, an older sister and a broken-hearted daddy.

My guys saw things that forever changed them and broke their hearts.
They were there to bring the Spirit of God into a place of chaos and pain.
Our hearts are so very heavy.

Our human minds try to reason it all out. We try to blame and come up with plans to prevent future pain. We all try to stand together against the evil that causes such sorrow.

No words, no laws, no president, no unified country can change this world we live in. It’s been fallen and broken for much longer than we can imagine. Humans broke God’s heart almost at the start, and it continues.

We, at least, can opt out of viewing other folks’ pain. His heart surely continues to break as He holds each parent’s hand all the way through–if they let Him.

What kind of God would allow this? Surely, that’s what folks will ask.
This is not His doing. There is evil at play. This world is full of darkness and suffering.
There is only One Light.

As a little girl, I sang a song that said, “He never said there’d only be sunshine. He never said there’d be no rain. He only promised a heart full of singing, at the very thing that once brought pain.”

As long as we live here, there’s going to be pain. To expect less sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Do we expect that if there really is a God we’d live in utopia? Who deserves the kind of pain we see around us or maybe feel? In our human minds, no one does.

But if we didn’t hurt or cry out in pain, we’d never know the need for the Giver of Peace! If we didn’t know the absence of joy, we never give credit to the Joy-Giver!

Into the darkness, a Savior was born. It was in the dark of night, when He was most needed.
Hope is here. In the darkest night, Hope was born.

You can argue theology with me all day and I might lose, but what you can never take from me is that in my darkest midnight, I was never alone. No one can ever take from me the memory I have of peace that washed over me like a warm, sweet blanket in a moment of sheer panic.  No one can ever convince me that the times when the presence of God was more real to me than any human has ever been did not happen.
And there is NOTHING in this world that means more to me than that. I cannot imagine a day without the peace I have. I could not exist without the hope I found. In the midst of pain, I can see beyond this moment to a plan bigger than mine.

I will sing of it forever.

Dear Jesus,

It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Follow us

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.


Your Children
(Max Lucado)


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