11 Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. 2 The elders in the past were approved because they showed faith (Hebrews 11:1-2, Common English Bible).
When the day started yesterday, I was planning on talking about Holy Communion today. For most United Methodist Churches, including the congregation I serve, celebrated Holy Communion yesterday and I am truly grateful for the grace of God we receive in the Sacrament. That being said, I will talk about that more another day.
When I got home from church it wasn’t long before an alert flashed across my phone. The alert was for the disastrous shooting that killed 26 and wounded 20 others in Sutherland Springs Texas. Words cannot begin to describe the sorrow I feel for the members of that congregation that are left behind.
The fourteen-year-old child of the pastor is among the dead. I couldn’t help but think of my own boys who during their 14th year were children of a pastor, serving a small rural congregation in Texas.
When I watched the news last night I heard the question, “How will this community survive this?” A young man, in a separate interview simply said, “We will get through this.”
I do know what it will take to get them through. It can be summed up with one word, faith. Faith is what anchors us. Faith is our lifeline to the greatest source of strength known to the human creature. Faith is what helps us to bow on our knees to pray, even when we might not want to, even sometimes when we might question if God is actually on our side.
I know there are those who will use this tragedy as an argument against the existence of God. The argument will go something like this, “There cannot be a God. These people were there worshipping this non-existent God and look what happened. If God were real, God wouldn’t allow this to happen.”
I have said before, and I will say again, God gave us all free will. God gave an obviously very troubled man, Devin Patrick Kelley, free-will and he chose to use it in a way that was devastating for others. I could spend more time on that and have, but that is all I will say about it here (if you would like to read more on this topic see my post, “Where Was God?”).
What I really don’t understand is, how can people who make such arguments, people who have no faith, can make it through times of such difficulty. The only way I can see for any of us to work our way through times like what happened in Sutherland Springs and so many other settings in recent years is to live by faith.
Make no mistake, it will not be easy for the people of Sutherland Springs in general and First Baptist Church in particular. Having faith does not make things easy. Having faith is allowing God to carry you through life’s most difficult times.
It is my prayer that the people of Sutherland Springs will lean on each other, but also have faith that God will see them through this tragedy. Faith is the biggest thing that will help to see them through.
Because I know faith will see them through, today, I am grateful for the faith God places in our hearts. What are you grateful for today? Write it down in your journal and share it with someone else.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved