We all know someone with cancer as it runs like wild horses through our towns, our churches, our families, our selves. Our children sicken and die of the flu of all the blasted things. And cars wreck and marriages wreck too, leaving mangled debris in their wake. And homes burn to the ground and layoffs devastate thousands. And in the midst of all this ache—
Another. School. Shooting.
As if we didn’t have enough pain already.
How has our privileged country become the most deadly?
There were a smattering of these acts of violence before the 1966 sniper fire from the University of Texas clock tower, leaving seventeen dead. But this incident forced people for the first time, to come to terms with the notion that anyone, anywhere could be killed at random on a beautiful day, for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And the snowball of deaths and devastation gains momentum. From 1966-81 there were less than three a year. By 1982 there were up to four a year. By 1993 there were sometimes five a year. From 1999- present there are up to eight a year. 2017 being the deadliest year of all with eight shootings and 173 precious souls dead.
The statistics are frightening.
Yet I refuse to live in fear even in this breathing world of hate. Not because I am some uber strong person—I am not, but I do know that—
Fear and Faith cannot coexist.
So we must choose:
—Let the ruler of the earth, Satan and his minions, keep our hearts in their grip of terror. He wants to cripple with fear of the future, fear of my fellowman, and fear for my life.
—Or let our Lord, who came to give us freedom from fear, rule our hearts and our minds.
And when the sky falls, I choose trust in my God of sunrises.
So here are four verses to grab onto for comfort and encouragement in this world spinning backwards:
“So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
”I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
So I will find the moxie to stand firm, somehow, someway.
And when I trust his words true and pray for his strength to be mine, anxiety falls away and his Peace perfect peace floods my soul.