“How do you offer hope to someone who has had something that terrible, and awful happen?” That question has been ringing through my head since we first heard of the shooting that took place in Aurora, Colorado. I can’t imagine the fear that shook the people in that theatre. Since then it has covered the news and radio stations and I imagine that the pain has all but eased for those who have lost loved ones in this awful event.
So as believers, what do we do? I have been amazed at how quickly a prayer chain was spread, via Facebook , and I would imagine Twitter, for a friend and fellow alumni of Bart and I’s. He and his wife were there the night of the shooting, and to my knowledge he is now physically doing fine. I can’t imagine how their minds are after such a night. I am sure that many of you have been in prayer constantly for the victims. In Matthew 10:16 we are told that we are being sent out into the world like “Sheep” among “wolves”. I would imagine this is a pretty “wolf-like” scenario. Scripture gives us two responses that can help us in the darkness. We are to be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves. Don’t let evil catch you off-guard, but instead pour God’s love and gentleness on others. We are also told to “put our lights on a stand” (Luke 8:16). I do not know the exact need of all those around me, but I do know one way to NOT meet any of those needs. Hiding. We have the hope that the rest of the world is crying for right now! I am far from the first person to highlight that the two strongest themes in the New Testament are grace and love. We are to bear this fruit, letting others feel God’s love through our arms. Don’t hide your love during the times of fear and doubt. Whether it be by making meals for a grieving family, offering up prayers and encouraging words, or sending letters filled with hope, the point is we can’t hide.
If you have stumbled upon this blog by chance, please know that it is not by chance. God’s love has millions of ways of reaching people and His love is beautiful and unique. Psalm 139 declares that He knew each of us before we were made, and even when we are in the darkest parts of life, He is with us. He loves you, and He wants to meet you where you are. His love is not based on emotional highs and lows, but on truth, and steadfast patience.
Bart and I are on a journey that will not be hidden from darkness. Our marriage has gone through some insanely rocky paths in the last couple of months, but with every sharp stab there was a push from behind to keep going. We cannot tell you enough how blessed we have been by people praying for us and encouraging us. We have both reached points of discouragement; we have both reaped the benefits of hanging in there. I thought I was about to give up. I have never been an academically gifted person. I love people, and being social, and I am very abstract minded. Taking courses online has been very challenging. Bart is taking 2 Master’s courses, and I was taking 2 Bachelor’s courses. Last week while packing for a visit with my family PD I became insanely discouraged. Long story short, I sent a letter to my advisor telling her how much I just wanted to give it up and be a mom. She insisted I take the weekend off and Skype with her sometime Monday. We discovered during our meeting that I can take only one class for three 6 week sessions and one session with 2 classes and be done! Also, I will most likely not have to take a linguistics class that I was anticipating. God plans blessings for us in ways we never anticipate, and it always happens through someone choosing to be the light.
Let this blog encourage you. God has gifted you with some unique way of lighting up someone’s life. If you feel led, we would greatly appreciate that light, in the form of prayer, financial giving, or joining our ministry. If God has pointed your light elsewhere, keep shining it brightly. We are so glad to have the Light of Life to guide us.