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Sojourn Blog

The Lord is at Hand in LVNV

Posted by Justin Pearson on

I woke up around 7AM to my alarm that sounds like sweet birds chirping. As I went to hit snooze and consider resetting my alarm for another 30-45 mins my eyes caught a CNN alert on my screen—Mass Shooting in Las Vegas. I quickly scanned the subtext—at least 20 dead and over 100 injured. I couldn’t go back to sleep. My mind was racing and my heart beating fast—“No, Lord. It’s happened again.”

As I write this, that number now stands at least 59 and over 500.

The events that took place in Las Vegas Sunday night, events that we all woke up to find out about on Monday morning, are absolutely horrific.

It is an in your face display of the utter darkness of our world. It is pure evil. It is a very raw, unavoidable, reminder that we live in a broken-down world.

So what are we to do in the midst of something that happened some 2500 miles away?

We act like the people of God.

This isn’t a post about gun rights or gun laws. I have plenty of thoughts on that and if you’d like to discuss please let me know, but I won’t share them here.

As the people of God I want to call us to come before his throne of grace and intercede on behalf of a city and a people that are reeling in pain, confusion, anger, and despair right now. We can pray to the God of Hope for a people that are questioning with and grasping for hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Philippians 4 tells us that instead of being anxious we should come to the Lord with our anxious hearts and thoughts and pray and ask him to do more than we can think to ask or imagine. Those are truths and verses that many of us know well, but the sentence doesn’t start with, “Do not be anxious about anything…” It starts in v. 5 and says, “The Lord is at hand, do not be anxious about anything…”

The reason we do not have to be anxious in the midst of unfathomable tragedy is because the Lord is at hand. The God of all creation who rules and reigns over all things, who is in the heavens and does all that he pleases—he is at hand. In your life and in LVNV right now. He is present. He is active. He is listening. He is acting.

So go to him for yourself. Go to him on behalf of others.

We can also act as the people of God by being a light in the midst of darkness. Whether you know someone in Las Vegas or not we all are around people everyday that are confused and upset about what happened Sunday night as well.

It is not a time for tongue in cheek, pithy coffee-cup quote, Christianity. It is an opportunity to talk about the God you know and love and serve who knows and loves and serves you—even when you don’t have all of the answers.

Because the truth is—we don’t know exactly why God allowed this to happen. But we do know our God. He has revealed himself to us and he is good and he is faithful. And we know that death and darkness do not win, Jesus wins.

We can pray that somehow in the midst of seemingly insurmountable tragedy that God would bring innumerable people to himself, that resurrection would happen and people would cross from death to life. And we can pray that we as a church and we as the Church all around our country will be there to usher people into the Kingdom not because we can explain or give answers to the why, but because we know the who.

Romans 8:18-25 says,

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."

We look forward with hope to the day when our Lord will return and make all things new, when we can stop hashtagging unspeakable tragedies. But until the day he cracks the sky we groan with the rest of humanity and creation and we pray earnestly in hope, “Come Lord Jesus!” and remember, even now, that the Lord is at hand.

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