Saturday, July 21, 2012

What Good?

"Likewise, the SPiriT helps us in our wEaKness. For we do not know wHat to PraY for as we ouGht, but the SpiRit HiMseLF intercedes for us with Groanings too deep for words. And he who searcHes hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit inTerceDes for the saints accoRding to the will of GodAnd we know that for those who LovE God, all things work together for Good, for those who are CALLED according to His Purpose." (Romans 8:26-28)

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting
I worked in a hospital as a deaconess before I got sick. I've been privy to situations too terrible to recount, much less understand, and I've been asked to pray in the middle of them. Most of the time, I had no idea what to say. What can you say during the worst moment of someone's life except, “Help us, O Lord?” Thankfully, the Holy Spirit fills in the rest on our behalf.

I can't imagine a worse pain than watching your child take his or her last breath, and yet I've watched dozens of Moms and Dads do just that. Their strength astonishes me. Surely, God is there. He must be there in all His love and understanding, otherwise how could anyone ever live through that moment? Groanings too deep for words. 

I've got to wonder as I read Romans 8 in light of our nation's newest and arguably most horrific tragedy, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, what good can possibly come from this? Tighter security to save more lives in the future? Psychological research that does the same? Organ donations? Sure, all of that's true enough, and it's all good, but IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. No amount of lives saved or lessons learned will ever make up for the loss of so much as one beautiful life. Not to a mother, and not to God. God doesn't work that way, and neither do we.

God promises us that no death, no trial, no turmoil of ours or anyone else's is ever in vain. Some good comes from it, some we understand, and some we don't. But He never promises that the good will outweigh the bad. Our hearts won't heal—not completely—until we see our children again, our parents, our brothers and sisters, our husbands and wives, and our friends. And through Christ, one day we will. Until then, the Holy Spirit knows our broken hearts, and He intercedes on our behalf, with groanings too deep for words.

Today, find solace in the good those precious, short lives—all of them—brought to this fallen world that needed them so badly, and find peace in the good Christ did for the beautiful souls who lived those short lives. Know that when we weep, Jesus wept with us, and know that God uses everything for good, no matter how terrible it is, no matter how much He'd rather it not happen, because nothing His children endure is ever wasted.

In the end, all tragedies will be made right because Jesus died for that. Those who lost their lives, those who lost their children, will be vindicated with all the wrath and all the love of God, who gave His own Son up to violence for them. For us. Amen.

Suggested verse to repeat to yourself if it's a difficult day comes from Romans 8:37
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"We are more than conquerors -------> 5 count inhale
through Him who loved us -------> 5 count exhale

deaconess [dee-kun-nis] noun
1) A woman belonging to an order or sisterhood dedicated to the care of the sick or poor, or who is engaging in other social service duties, life teaching and missionary work.
2) A woman called by a church to assist the congregation in works of service.

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