“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Friends, my heart is heavy this morning. Yesterday’s tragedy here in our city of Abbotsford (let alone the Texas church shooting on Sunday, or the one year anniversary of the stabbing at Abby Senior, or…or…or…) has impacted me deeply. I have been to that parking lot on Mt. Lehman countless of times, often to meet some of you who are reading this for coffee. I personally know Abbotsford police officers and their families. I have family members who live a stone’s throw from where the officer was killed. And my heart aches. What is happening in our city?
If we expand our gaze a little, we see so many needs in our city. An opioid crisis resulting in overdoses. Homelessness. Abuse. Youth and children with no family support. Healthcare workers being assaulted. So much pain, seemingly in every direction we look. Oh God, help us! Come, Lord Jesus.
As your pastor, I want to call you to persevere. Don’t give up and look for the bubble-wrap in which to protectively isolate yourself. Don’t live in fear, but rather love (“But perfect love drives out fear…”). We have a choice to make. How will we respond? Will we pull back in isolation, or step out for the sake of the gospel?
To that end, here is my invitation. PRAY. Pray specifically today for those who are on the “front lines” in our city. Pray for the families impacted by loss. ENCOURAGE. Say thanks. Give a hug if that is appropriate. Listen to those who need to share. Quit complaining. Offer HOPE. Share Jesus. Without Him, there is no hope. And LOVE. Let’s live in such a way as to make our community better, because we live out what God calls us to be and to do. Be a part of the solution, for the sake of the gospel.
Yes, we grieve. We grieve deeply. But not as those without hope. Let’s encourage each other.
“The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:11)