I almost didn’t join Five Minute Friday today when I saw the prompt was “Why”. With everything going on in the world around us, I knew it was going to be difficult to write something meaningful in the wake of such tragedy. Yet, here I am. Thoughts have been pounding around in my head and so with prayer, here I go. I am sure you will find many moving posts to read today over at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com
Time starts now.
“”But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”” Luke 18:16 (NIV)/ Pixabay
The call came over the intercom. Door locked. Lights off. Curtain on door drawn. Blinds shut. Table in the corner of the room turned on its side. Precious Second Graders huddled low behind the table. Roll taken. These were the steps I followed in my classroom every time a “Code Red” drill was scheduled. With each action, my heart beat a little faster as I tried to move with confidence and put on a brave face. No matter how many times we went through the practice though, worried “whys” tumbled from the tiny lips of my students. “Why do we have to do this?” “Why would someone want to hurt me?” And each time I would try to quiet their souls with the best answers I had, which between you and me, were weak at best, because I had (and have) the same “whys” they did!
During every drill, I made a promise to those nervous, wide-eyed babes; “I’ll do everything in my power to keep you safe. No. Matter. What.” But could I? Oh, I had plans and ran through scenarios in my mind. But the news had shown me way too many times that despite heroic effort, my promise could be hard to keep. And so my “whys” just kept coming. It was the stuff my nightmares were made of!
Fast forward to today. I’m retired now and so thankful that in my 32 years of teaching I only heard “Code Red” as a drill. Even though I’ve had to imagine what a school shooting would be like, I cannot fathom what those involved go through. Why was I spared when others have suffered so? Why are children becoming murderers? Once again, I only have weak answers.
You and I know that the “whys” aren’t just confined to the classroom. They tumble from lips in our homes, our workplaces, our churches, and in the world. It’s easy for me and maybe for you too, to get so lost in the “whys” of it all that we forget the Who.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart: I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
There’s so much suffering everywhere we look. My tendency is to question and to want to somehow understand the purpose in it all. Depending on myself or the opinions of others though, just leaves me asking more questions. Can you relate? I’m learning that instead of those “whys” we need to be WISE and depend on Jesus. When we do, we can take heart in The Promise that is never broken, The Peace in the midst of chaos, and The Only Answer that can overcome the whys of a troubled world.
I invite you to join with me right now and say a prayer for all those who are suffering.