After enjoying another incredible Sunday serving my local church and celebrating a new location opening in November I crashed out exhausted with a heart full of joy and excitement for all that God is doing in our city, in our nation, and around the world.
It was an absolute shock to receive a message from one of our incredible young leaders in our messaging app that her friend was in attendance of the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Vegas. "There was a shooting in Las Vegas at a concert. My friend is there hiding and trying to get to safety! Please pray for the whole city of Vegas!!!!" Another one of our college leaders is from Las Vegas, her family is in ministry there and to hear this horrific event took place in her own hometown is devastating. We also got reports from another leader that a friend of her niece is fighting for her life.
This event was shocking to us all. I found myself completely unable to work or function. I spent the entire day in prayer literally on the ground under a blanket just approaching our Father directly interceding for all involved. I called another intercessor friend and confessed that I was just completely unable to work and that all I wanted to do was devote the day in prayer.
Sometimes we just need to submit to that reality. Sometimes that's the BEST thing we can do. Sometimes we have to put down the tasks and to-do lists and just hit the ground. Sometimes we have to shut off the TV and unglue our eyes from social media and just "be" with the victims, families, medics, and all involved in a unified spirit of prayer. Sometimes we have to sacrificially set aside our own agendas, preferences, opinions, and feelings and just simply pour our love and strength into the situation with intercessory prayer.
We have to understand the power of which we are given by the Holy Spirit and how necessary it is to align our hearts, minds, and spirits with God's heart. Knowing full well that His heart is breaking even more than ours. Destruction, devastation, division, discord, SIN was never in His beautiful plan.
In the wake of tragedies like these, two realities surface:
- Some who have put God on the peripheral of their lives will begin to call out to Him.
- Others will reject God and blame Him for the sin of what evil introduced.
Let's be sensitive to both. Let's be the safe place people can come to process and find healing especially when that means they vent outrage, anger, and confusion toward our loving Father. Let's not be afraid to engage with hurting people and give them space to process how they will. Let's be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Let's learn to be okay without having the perfect thing to say. Sometimes those that are hurting don't want advice as much as they want a warm embrace and compassionate support.