School Shootings and a God who is “Able”

In the wake of yesterday’s massacre in Parkland, Florida it can be hard to acknowledge a sovereign God when He seems so distant.  For some, the easiest thing is to deny His goodness and to make assessments based on the little we see.

The problem of pain, evil and suffering has seemed to explode on social media.  Everyone’s a theologian and many use their platforms to belittle the power of prayer, condemn Christians for being out of touch with ‘real’ solutions and blaspheme a God who appears to them as unable to intervene.

But in the midst of all the clamour a songwriting shepherd by the name David shows us what deep resolute faith and trust looks like when put into action in the most difficult times.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” – Psalm 23:4.

I don’t for a second pretend to have all the answers.  But I know the character of the God I love because I have spent time in His presence and in His Word.  Like us, He is moved and even angered by what happened.  He is able to bring comfort as we struggle with what we’ve seen.  He even weeps with us and flowing from His grief is a deep desire to be present with us in the midst of sorrow – right here in our pain.

Not too long ago I completed a song called “Able” with my friend, Brandon Sharp based in part on Psalm 23.  I pray that as you process, grieve and come to terms with the horror we’ve witnessed, that you will let the truth of Scripture, not popular social media expression, wash over you with these truths from God’s Word.

My God You go before me. You see me and you know me.
With all my heart I trust You.
So let faith rise up inside me.  Take root, control and guide me.
With all my heart I trust You.

What enemy could slay me when you surround and shade me?
With all my heart I trust You

So hear my declaration: no fear, no reservations
With all my heart I trust

You are able, able – deep in my struggle
With me, with me – right here in my pain
You are sovereign, sovereign – You hold me together
Lifting me up while I sing Your praise

As we walk this valley in the shadow of death, may the God who is able to meet you deep in your struggle and in the centre of your pain lift you up as you sing His praise.

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