While words exist to describe the rollercoaster of these last 36 hours, even then, these words fall short to express the utter heartbreak and devastation, we as a Nashville community have undergone.
Questions loom unanswered. Explanations never to come. Feelings of a deep, dark sadness overwhelm us. Incomprehensible loss ever present.
Recently, I listened to a podcast and the guest pastor said, “We must learn how to process loss without seeing it as defeat.” In times and circumstances like today, this statement feels to much to accept. Today it feels as if the enemy has won. It feels as if the light will be impossible to see again.
As a friend of mine often says, our feelings are valid and they must be acknowledged but these feelings are not the captain of our ship.
The pastor then went onto teach about the crucifixion. At the cross, as Jesus underwent extreme beatings and breathed his last and final breath, a genuine loss was felt by all who stood witness (Luke 23:26-43).
Mary went home without a son. A piece of her very existence and soul extinguished.
James went home alone, without a brother.
The disciples dispersed without their beloved teacher but instead with a newly forming doubt about what they had come to believe and know.
Mary, Martha and Lazerus were left with an empty seat at their table. The loss of a friend reverberating.
Losses we can all relate too. These losses must be grieved. The heartbreak mourned. (Psalm 34:18)
As we all walk through our own losses, tragedies, events that have no explanation, we must remain tethered to the truth of the greatest victory in human history.
The power of the third day. The tomb empty. Jesus’s body gone. Instead the linen and cloth that had encompassed his body remain behind pointing to the even greater significance of his return. Jesus conquered death.
‘“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 2 Corinthians 15:55-58
After the losses and grief of the last 36 hours, I was reminded of a text message I received last week. A friend of mine shared a picture of what her nine-year-old daughter wrote in her daily reading log after reading Ridiculously Hopeful. In its simplicity and innocence, I believe her statement holds a vital truth we can all cling to today, “if you put your faith and hope in Jesus during a hard situation it will be okay.”
While we cannot fathom the “hows and whens” and victory may seem far from reality, we must remain steadfast in our belief in the power of the cross. May we stay grounded in knowing the current circumstances and its origin are not who we can trust with the outcome. What we are facing is not from the Lord, but we can, without a doubt expect his goodness to carry us forward.
My prayer today and in the days that follow as you navigate conversations with your children, grandchildren, friends and/or colleagues as well as your own grief of the events that have shaken our city is that you remember the hope in Jesus’s promise. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In some quiet time, I encourage you to spend time with him and ask him two questions: “Jesus, what do you say about ________________ (fill in the blank). Jesus, now what do you want me to do?
Today, can you find someone around you to encourage, to edify, to lift up? Don’t hesitate, go do it. You are Jesus’s light.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Often over the years, I’ve found myself pondering God’s love, his grace. I’ve asked myself what does it look like to fully experience his love overflowing, to feel as though you are walking in his grace abounding? Have you? I know it happens, Townes’s miracles upon...