What happened in Parkland, Florida is pure evil. The loss of life was senseless, and though I’m privy to what all the talking heads are pushing this blog is about faith, depression and hope.
I know there is evil among us. I sin daily, so I’m a part of it. Whenever I point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at me. The defendant in Parkland, if he’s still alive, will answer for the blood on his hands, but I will answer the same for the sin my hands have committed. Christ Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and if I think for one minute I’m better than someone who has taken life then I’ve missed the point of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Let me remind you that you have no right to throw any stone if you have sinned. Does God punish those who do wrong? He most certainly does, but his encouragement to us is to live a life of love. Do we not grieve loss? Do we not grieve when divorce happens to a family, or someone passes way before they should?
Our world is fallen as if I had to blog that, and it’s times like these that remind us deep within our DNA that if we aren’t intentional about love then evil prevails. I’m asking the Spirit to empower me to repent because for eighteen years I’ve been a very angry man. I’ve burned bridge after bridge for righteous reasons but many of them were because of Satanic fear and anger. I’ve written about them here since 2008.
I’ve been taught my whole life that if I deny my LORD before men that he will deny me before my Father in Heaven. I’m sick of being told I can’t talk about my faith. I’m sick of being made to feel like a loser when I call upon Jesus Christ as LORD. When my dad was in elementary school here in good ole Nashville, Tennessee his public school teachers had him memorizing Bible verses. Now our public schools are places students have to fear being shot in the hallway. I don’t even follow that sentence up with an exclamation mark. It’s a matter of fact.
It’s sick, twisted and perverse that there are children who will wake up afraid in the morning to go to school. I was afraid when I dropped my daughter and two of her friends off Friday afternoon to go to a youth rally in east Tennessee over the weekend. Their bus could have wrecked, or there could have been an evil person who decided a bunch of teenagers needed to die. I can’t believe I’m writing this!
People need the LORD. People need unconditional love. They don’t need someone letting them do whatever they want to do, but when they fail, fight a disease, fight an addiction or are hurt by others they need someone to tell them it’s going to be ok. But when I don’t know it’s going to be ok how do I find the energy and belief that it is going to be ok?
I go here frequently.
When Jesus was in the Garden the night he was betrayed fear consumed him. He told the Father that if it’s possible let this cup pass from me, but not my will, but thine be done. He had the power to call thousands of angels to let that cup pass, but thank God he went through with the torture he endured to the end. His death, burial and resurrection wasn’t just a down payment on a huge debt. It was the down payment, financing and eternal check in the mail for an income that will never stop. I’m sorry I can’t describe it very well.
Life is hard dear ones. I know that. I wonder why God doesn’t take my depression away, but there have been many great women and men who have had to endure even harder battles. They make it through by a faith in a higher power, but I respect the freedom of religion we have in our country, and it’s not my place to condemn anyone who chooses not to worship the Father, Son and Spirit that I worship. The Crusades already did that. It didn’t go so well, and those who have declared a holy war against us, the “infidels” are not growing by leaps and bounds. I dread what God has to say to them on Judgement Day.
Parkland, Florida I am praying fervently for you dear people. I can only imagine the pain you are going through because I’ve never experienced the kind of loss you are experiencing. My words seem paltry to what you need, but I know words are powerful. When my friend big Ty lost little Ty I had dream after dream where I spoke with “little” Ty. I’ll never forget Ty’s smile, his longing for the underdog, nor the way he desired to make everyone feel special from baby to adult. I pray dear parents that you have dreams of peace where you talk to those you have lost, and they will tell you there is nothing to fear in death. Their absence is horrendous, but know that you will hug them again, and the pain now will pale in comparison to the eternity of joy we will share with those we have lost.
Jesus Christ is real. Jesus Christ is love personified. Jesus Christ balled like a baby when he lost his friend Lazarus. He knows how we feel when those we love die. He knows how we feel when others reject us, and he knows how we feel when we lose everything. He knows how we feel when we don’t get what we want. He knows how we feel when we get what we don’t want. He knows.
He wants all of us to love each other, but when we refuse to love each other he raises others up to love us when there are those who will not.
It’s difficult sometimes, especially if you didn’t grow up with this belief, to know and experience this transcendent love you can’t see, and when someone you deeply loved passes away it’s even harder the know and experience that love from a person who is no longer here.
The only “practical” thing I can offer is that even in my darkest times of depression when I wanted to end it all an invisible presence was with me reminding me I am not alone. I didn’t get this from going to church, praying or reading the Bible. Those things are important to me, but you’ll never hear me telling you to do more of those things. What you will hear and see in me is that I have direct access to a higher power that continually saves me from evil. Sometimes all that is is me sitting on the sofa blogging like I am right now. Sometimes that’s just me sitting at The Well with a 12 ounce or 16 ounce mocha letting an inflamed depressive moment pass so I can drive home.
When my daughter was a small girl, and I was working at Coca-Cola sometimes we’d go as a family to Opry Mills for lunch or dinner when I got off. I was sleep deprived because I had to be at work at 4:00am, so it’s no wonder the tears flowed, but I would break down like a sobbing idiot in the middle of a restaurant, and my precious girl would rub my head or hand as I pulled my hat down over my eyes to regain my composure.
It was a dark time, but God delivered me from it. So many of you are experiencing dark times at this very moment, and you need a word of hope like this. I don’t know what you are going through, but know this. God loves you as if you were the only person on the planet. He knows the number of hairs on your head, and He knit you together in your precious mother’s womb. You might have been an “accident”, but I’ll be damned if God calls you an accident. You might have grown up as an orphan, but again when God adopts someone as He has all of us there is not a drop of blood He does not notice.
It grieves Him when we hurt. It grieves Him when we hurt each other.
Let’s strive to stop hurting each other, and give each other hope that only He can give through us.