When I heard about the tragedy in Connecticut I cried. The tears came and all day I felt weary and weepy. So sad. So senseless. So horrific.
In prayer this morning I was again crying and asking God, "show me the goodness." I have learned from grief that sometimes the only way out of the "pit" is to re-direct your gaze. So this morning that is what I tried to do- turned off the news, stopped reading the facebook posts and instead opened my Bible.
"Show me your goodness Lord for "I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (psalm 27:13)."And all I could think of was the sadness of Christmas this year for those families. I then asked God,
"Ok, maybe just show me a family that will be happy this Christmas, one that is celebrating with a new life, perhaps a new baby? Maybe a family that waited a long time to get their child and now this Christmas can truly be joyful." And in an instant I heard him whisper "that is you."
Sweet Jesus! I almost missed it. My own story- loss, tragedy,senselessness, and then hope and new life. I have the chance this Christmas to show God's goodness. The way God can restore (like that word-Joy?) a broken heart, a broken life, and a broken dream. He can, He does, He will. For me, for my husband, for all those families in Newton.
Is it easy?no. Is it impossible to hold onto hope in the face of such tragedy? Without grace and without God, yes. And in the end I am reminded of the power of living. Living and going on when everything around you screams its not worth it, just give up. Living in the goodness of the Lord requires courage. Courage to look a horrific event in the face and still choose to move forward.
Mary did this, actually on the first Christmas. As she hustled her newborn baby-literally God's goodness alive- from that stable back onto the donkey in a moment of uncertainty. I wonder if she could hear the screams of the mothers in Bethlehem as they watched as Harod's soldiers murdered their innocent children. I wonder how she managed to keep moving forward knowing all the tragedy that was behind her, the tragedy that seemed to be a direct result of her child being born. I don't know how she did it, only that she did. She chose to move forward despite the heartache. She chose to be a living reminder of God's goodness. And I cant help but smile when I think of how mad that must have made satan. Because evil doesn't win in the end-goodnes does. Evil may win the battle but not the war.
I will continue to cry for the families that have suffered so deeply. I will also choose to live this Christmas when everything inside of me screams to just give up, stop fighting. I will live to honor their children. I will live to honor my firstborn. I will be joyful because I know God is bigger. I know his restoration and it is real.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain."Revelation 21:4
"Amen! Come Lord Jesus!!"Revelation 22:20