But tonight I kept my mouth shut when I ran into my friend Michelle.
Four days ago, her father was murdered during a robbery at their family business, a small grocery store.
Michelle believes in the Bible too, and has chosen a personal relationship wtih Christ. But right now, she’s mad at Jesus. She wishes she had been in the store that afternoon, not her father. None of the many Bible verses I could’ve quoted to her were the right words…because at this moment, there are no right words. All I could do was listen to her and share her hurt.
My initial response, days ago, was to echo Job 1:20, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” But this is the second tragic and unexpected death I had to deal with in less than a week. On Tuesday morning we buried Giovanny, an excellent young man (21) and a leader for many of the younger boys in our New Horizons program. On Wednesday night we were horrified by the news of the shooting of Michelle’s father. And on that same day, I found out one of my dear friends is in the hospital, his body is rejecting a recent kidney transplant (the second in his life, and a miracle after 4 years of waiting for a compatible donor).
My reaction? “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)
It is impossible to understand God’s decisions and his ways…his thoughts are far above our thoughts…but, everything comes from the Lord, exists by his power and is intended for his glory. (Romans 11:36) I pray that my mind is set on heaven above, not on this temporary life on earth. I pray that I never cease to share with others that Jesus Christ is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. He has gone before us to prepare a place, and there is more than enough room in God’s kingdom for all who sincerely seek Him.
And, meanwhile, for those hard moments, I’ll borrow a prayer from my 2 year old nephew,
“Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Amen.”