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4.16 -- can we get over it?

Sometimes in our impatience towards others we say things like, "just get over it." And that may be applicable to a lot of things that are superficial, like a flat tire or an empty box of ice cream in the freezer.

I've realized that what happened here on 4.16.07 has changed us for the rest of our lives, and that's very hard to explain to some people.

In other words, I don't think we'll ever "get over" that snowy and ominous April morning. You just don't have a massacre in your community, at your school, and not be affected for a long time. The nearness of the brutal tragedy produces a tender wound that still aches even after the rest of the world is following other headlines.

Maybe that's why many war veterans really don't want to talk much about the so-called glorious battles they fought. There are just too many reminders of loss, of numbing fear, of close friends lost, and of the cruel triumph of evil, even if it was only for a short while.

I tell you something else that's hard to get over: that I'm not the center of the universe. There are certain times that we really awaken to our dependence and vulnerability. The Scripture says of God, "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:36) That speaks of the sovereignty of God over all things, working all things according to the counsel of his will. That's comforting, but it's also a bit unnerving to realize my comfortable plans for my life may not coincide with his sovereign plans for me.

But this must be coupled with the infinite goodness of God: "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him." (Nahum 1:7) There is a wider, bigger, and ultimately more wonderful plan that we don't understand at this point. The Cross teaches us that truth, that God is both sovereign and good. And that's where my trust is fixed.

Further, this moves me to sympathize and to pray for all those undergoing severe trials: those experiencing earthquakes, those persecuted for their faith, those living in lawless regimes. We all share a common humanity, and often a common Savior. The scars and sorrows last a long time, but the gospel tells us, it need not be forever.

They might not "get over it" in this life, but for those who commit to the Lord, a new world is coming...

"For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:17)

Amen, come, Lord Jesus.


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