May 25, 2022

Jose Abaroa
16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
 and made me cower in ashes; 17 my soul is bereft of peace;
 I have forgotten what happiness is; 18 so I say, “My endurance has perished;
 so has my hope from the Lord.” 19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! 20 My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. 21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:16-24

Yesterday afternoon, our day was interrupted by the horrific news that twenty-one innocent lives were taken through an act of senseless evil in nearby Uvalde, Texas. With a broken and heavy heart, I want to let you know that one of the precious souls taken was nine-year-old Ellie Garcia, Hector, and Sandra Herrera’s niece.

The Bible is clear that enemy has dominion on the earth and that we will encounter tragedy and chaos on this side of heaven. These verses in Lamentations allude to that reality with the word picture of teeth grinding on gravel, one being covered in ashes, lacking peace, and even forgetting what happiness feels like. During these seemingly hopeless times, it’s vital that we process these tragic experiences through a filter of hope. Verses 21-24 urge us to remember that God’s love is never-ending. His mercies are renewed every morning. His faithfulness is great. And the Lord himself is our inheritance.

In times of great trouble and distress, God is near. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “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.”

Church family, let’s lift up in prayer the Herrera family, the Garcia family and all other families that have been devastated by this horrendous act of evil. May God’s love comfort them and may his peace protect them as they mourn. Our hope is in you, God.