(not so heavy) Heart

By Shannon Popp

It’s with a heart, that should be heavy, that I write this. 

This past week has been one of the longest and hardest weeks of my life, and at the same time I have also seen God show up in amazing ways.
 
God has used tragedy, violence, ache, pain, and hurt for His glory once again. It has only been nine days, but we already see how God is using this slow and numbing week for His glory and ultimately for His good.
 
The community is coming together in ways it has not before. Businesses are giving money to support the family, churches are working together, and the youth are taking care of one another. 
 
At least two students have given their lives to Christ, and dozens more are coming to church for the first time
 
As I have continued to step back over and over again during the last nine days, I see God’s finger prints all over this hard situation. 
I have been reminded of the disciples after Jesus carried, was nailed, and died on the cross. It looked bleak for days. Peter even seemed to throw in the towel, and went back to his old life. “I am going fishing.”-John 21:3
The other disciples don’t try to lift his spirit or even stop him! They are spent, they have nothing left and say,  “We will go with you.”
 
This leads to emptiness. For the disciples it’s an empty boat, for us it can lead to an empty heart and numbing thoughts which take us to a place that is not good for us, or for others. 
 
We, as a community cannot go back to where we were before. We are different now, and have been transformed through this. We must move forward knowing God will show us, in His good timing, why. Why this happened, and why now. The question is really not why, but what. God, what do You want us to see, learn, and do now? What are You doing in and through this? He will work out the why and take care of the answer, we must respond in faith and hope during this season. 
 
My prayer for all of us is that during this time, even if your not looking for Jesus in this, that Jesus will show up and speak truth with love into your life. 
John 21 goes on and Jesus does show up and speak truth into the disciples lives, and they realize God’s plan was better than theirs. Jesus uses this opportunity to restore what was destroyed in their lives as a community and to Peter in a very personal way. God is a very personal God, who cares and loves you.
 
Father God please heal our community and continue to use this to bring us together like never before, and for those that need Your personal touch, please speak truth into our lives now. 
In Jesus name amen.
Shannon Popp is the High School Youth Pastor at Mission Hills Church. Read more from him on his blog Hope4U.
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