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A Bitter-Sweet Devotion


Today's devotion is a bitter-sweet one; as we honor and remember those who lost their lives in the tragic Omaha shooting yesterday. An event like this is not one that is easy to get over, at least not for the victims' families, friends, and colleagues. These tragic happenings leave us asking why; what was the purpose of this... what is God's plan? I know, because I myself faced a similar situation before.

At the time, my life was filled with grief and confusion. I couldn't figure out why that day happened the way it did, or why so many young people tragically lost their lives for "no-reason." To this day I remember vividly the pain that I went through, and the expression on the families faces. It is something that I will never forget, and something I never want to.

I guess that seems strange, saying that I never want to forget; saying that I want to remember the images from that tragic day... to remember the pain I personally went through, and to feel the pain of the families who suffered such a great, and unprecedented loss. But yet, through all this suffering, through all this pain, something good came out of it.

It was through this tragedy that I became closer to my family... not because I went to them for support, but because they wouldn't give up on me; even when I had. It was because of this tragedy, that I found my true friends; those who would be there for me day or night. They didn't ask me to talk to them, but they were always listening, and probably more importantly, they were understanding when I snapped at them for no reason, or when I burst into tears from watching a violent scene in a movie.

Most importantly, through this tragedy, I learned that God would never leave me (Romans 8:38-39), He wouldn't let me go. Every time I fell, and every time I didn't think I would be able to get back up, God used someone (sometimes even strangers) to help me back up.

Today, I know many of the feelings that those who have lost family and friends at the Westroads Mall are feeling. I know the pain, I know the grief, and I know the sorrow... the questions that race through your minds... But more importantly, I know that God will be with His children, whom He loves dearly. I know that He will not leave them, nor will He allow anything to separate Him from them. Even if you turn your back on God, He will never turn His on you... like the prodigal son He welcomes back those of us who were lost with welcome arms.

This is what makes today's devotion bitter-sweet. It is bitter, tearful, and sorrowful, as we mourn with those who have lost so much, with no notice, in what looks to be a reasonless act. But it is sweet, because we know that God can turn all things to work for His glory; that He will not let these lives be wasted, but that He will use their testimonies to save and build up others. It is sweet that He will not let us walk alone, but instead will carry us when we refuse to keep walking. It is sweet, that He will not let anything, Anything separate us from His love.

Today, let us remember those in Nebraska, those who are mourning. Let us remember them in our thoughts, our prayers, and in our actions. Let us mourn with them, as they mourn for those they have lost; but let us rejoice with them, as we remember the glory of our Lord and Savior. As we remember His unfailing love, and His infinite grace.

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Romans 8:38-39
[38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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