Our situations do not determine who we are, but our reactions do speak volumes about us. As I stood beside the rubble of our church building for the first time 12 days ago, I had this thought over and over again. It was very obvious that the media had learned of arson and were ready to talk. As I spoke with one reporter, I realized that she was somewhat confused. “Why isn’t there more anger? Why are there smiles?” One reporter was insistent about it being arson and how we ought to feel much more anger then we were expressing. How we could stand right next to our church and declare God is good? It made no sense.
Do we expect that to make sense? No! It will never make sense without Jesus Christ. Each day we have a choice to either let Jesus Christ be Lord of our lives, or to take over ourselves. I know how easy it is to take over. We can very quickly determine that we have it under control and assume the lead. When tragedy strikes, though, it becomes painfully clear who is in charge based on the reaction.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” – Colossi ans 3:15
On the surface there has not been much peace over the last couple weeks. When I look at the pace of my life right now with all that is going on I might be tempted to wonder where that peace actually is. Yet, I notice that this peace is not a forceful thing. It is not even a guaranteed thing. It is something that we need to surrender to. The word is “let” not “get out of the way.” The peace of Christ, when it is allowed to rule, makes all the difference. We need to allow it to rule! That means we allow Christ to rule. It is there that we are able to declare God is faithful and good, even when someone destroys something very important to us. We do this, as it says, with a heart of thankfulness. It was in that spirit that I was able to tell the reporter that the scene of the church in ruins, while awful, does not in any way change the goodness of God. That peace speaks volumes to a wold seeking revenge. It makes no sense, and for that I am thankful!