Friday, April 19, 2013

In the aftermath...

The other night, I began thinking about all the things that have happened in my lifetime...President Bush (dad), President Clinton, President Bush (son), President Obama, Hurricanes, Floods, Tornadoes, Oklahoma City Bombing, OJ Simpson trial, Olympic Park Bombing in Atlanta, Columbine, 9/11, Anthrax attacks, Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricane Katrina, Virginia Tech Massacre, Northern Illinois Shooting, Fort Hood Shooting, Amish School Shooting, Aurora Shooting, Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, and now the Boston Marathon Bombing. I haven't been alive very long...almost 22 years is not a long time when you think about it...but it really shocked me to look at this list and realize that all this (and more) has happened within my short lifetime.

 I never really know how to feel when something like this happens. It's definitely puts me on the edge...I try and fail many times to comprehend how a human can mentally desire and physically carry out such a heinous act of violence...Sometimes I get really angry at the people who do these things...Sometimes I just want to cry...but I try to find peace in the fact that even though I don't understand, God's got it under control...sometimes, it's all of the above...but mostly I guess I just don't know what to think. Maybe you're feeling the same way...

Two things really struck me last night...M28 was in the middle of worship, we were singing one of my favorite songs - "Build Your Kingdom Here" by Rend Collective Experiment and as we were singing I just kind of fell to my knees overwhelmed by the words I was singing. Take a second to read over these lyrics and really pray them.

Come set Your rule and reign
In our hearts again
Increase in us we pray
Unveil why we're made
Come set our hearts ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls
Holy Spirit come invade us now
We are Your Church
We need Your power
In us

We seek Your kingdom first
We hunger and we thirst
Refuse to waste our lives
For You're our joy and prize
To see the captive hearts released
The hurt; the sick; the poor at peace
We lay down our lives for Heaven's cause
We are Your church
We pray revive
This Earth

Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
We pray

Unleash Your kingdom's power
Reaching the near and far
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church
We are the hope 
On Earth

I just began to cry and pray this over and over and over again. In the aftermath of all that has happened in the last few days, it's easy to get wrapped up in all of the darkness happening around us...but in this darkness is the time when our light shines the most. This is my desire...that God would build his kingdom here on Earth...that there is no denying his presence on this planet...that we can rise up in this aftermath and nothing will stop us. Yes there will always be evil and darkness in this world...but it's our job to GO and make share the gospel wherever we are. You never know when your last day will be...(not to make you fearful) someone could walk into Starbucks or your office or your classroom today or tomorrow and start shooting...are you ready for eternity? Are the people around you, the people you love and care for...are they ready for eternity?

John 16:32b-33 - "Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." 
Like I said earlier...there will always be people who hurt other people...there will always be scary and evil things that happen...but we have hope! We have a Father who has overcome all of it!!!!! He has conquered it all!!! What joy! What hope! What peace!

So in this aftermath...find your peace in the one who has overcome the world, pray that God would build his kingdom here, and go spread the gospel like wildfire. Continue to pray for Boston...for the injured and the families who lost loved ones...for those who were there...and the ones who weren't. Pray for us as a nation...this event brought us all together. Pray for this world.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, 
look full in his wonderful face, 
and the things of Earth will grow strangely dim, 
in the light of his glory and grace!

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