Tag Archives: hurt

What now?

Isaiah5410

Like so many of you, I am still reeling from the events of last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. There are really no words to adequately describe the horror and the sadness and there is no way I can begin to understand the depth of the mourning of those who have been directly affected.

I am praying for them. I am praying for our nation.

And I am trusting in the unfailing love of a God who has compassion for his people and who promises to never leave us nor forsake us, whose love will not be shaken, even when we are shaken to the core. Even when horrible things happen that are impossible to explain.

I believe that God’s heart is broken too. And in the midst of the terrible actions that humanity sometimes takes because of our free will to choose, He holds those of us who are hurting so deeply close to His heart and weeps and mourns with us.

I don’t know what the answers are, but I do know that we live in a fallen world where, daily, man chooses to ignore the laws of this nation. What makes us think that more laws are going to force man to make different choices? The only thing that can cause man to make difference choices is a change in his heart. Angry political rhetoric and blaming guns or blaming autism or blaming mental illness or blaming video games or blaming parenting or whatever else you want to blame, does nothing to change the hearts of men.

Only God can do that.

More important than finding answers, though, I think we need to remember that there are people out there who have suffered terrible loss. We need to focus on loving on and praying for those who are hurting—to try to encourage them and point them toward hope.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore, I will wait for Him.” ~Lamentations 3:21-24 NIV

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Surfing and Jesus

Have y’all ever put those two things together?

Well, my kids are.

Jacob catching a waveWe are enjoying time in the Outer Banks of NC this week. Jacob and Emma are attending a surfing camp here, along with three of their cousins.

Makes me wanna sing “it’s a family affaiiiirrrr, it’s a family affaiiiirrrr”, but I digress…

The camp is hosted by pro surfer Noah Snyder, with the help of some of his buddies, FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and the local church where my dad and brother are pastors. While surfing is a large part of the experience, the  larger part is to point kids to Jesus.

Yesterday, the first day of camp and barely 10 minutes after the kids had first ventured out to catch their first waves, a young lady’s leg was injured by her board resulting in the need for her to be taken to get stitches. She was very fortunate; her injury could have been much worse.

I watched as all the staff worked so quickly. First, to pray, as they carried her up to shore from the water. Second, to keep pressure on her wound and call for help. And third, to help the girl stay calm. I wanted so much, as my mother instinct kicked in, to rush over and do something. But I could see they had it well in hand and I tried to back away and reassure all the other kids, including Emma.

Enter the major flashbacks for both Emma and me…flashbacks to the broken leg. As I saw the injured girl being carried out of the water, I was sure the child’s leg was broken. So was Emma. Naturally, Emma was pretty freaked out. It was hard for her to watch. It made her second guess her plan to try this surfing thing after all.

Emma getting encouragement from NoahIt is amazing how certain experiences in life can take you back so quickly to those raw emotions, right back to the very moment when a similar thing happened to you. It broke my heart not only to see the girl suffering the injury, but also to see my child reliving her injury all over again. And reliving it so strongly that it literally made her start feeling sick.

Could it be that God was using that moment to take Emma back to that place, to feel those emotions again, so that He can do some healing in Emma’s heart? I hadn’t thought about it that way, but when my Dad mentioned it to me, I thought he might be on to something.

You can’t heal from hurts you choose not to feel. Those feelings are still there whether or not you choose to feel them. They can begin to fester without your knowing it, too. And then suddenly, something happens out of the blue, and those feelings bubble up to the surface and then, BAM! you hardly know what’s hit you! It took some time for Emma to be ready to get out there and give it a try, but she did.

A lot of surfing is about patience, perseverance and practice. So is life. So is walking with God. Surfing is about faith too. Faith that the board to hold you up. Faith that if you fall, you will be okay. Faith that if you work at it, you will get better. It’s about stepping out into a scary place. You don’t know what is in the water. You don’t always know how the wave will break. It’s about going out deeper, catching bigger waves and trusting that the Lord will be there for you when you fall off the board, because you will fall off the board.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” ~Hebrews 11:1 (New Living Translation)

It’s like Noah said today, “If you’re not falling off the board, then you’re not surfing.”

And that doesn’t just apply to surfing.

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