As I have had the time to reflect and pray about the recent shooting at NIU, I have come to many thoughts and conclusions. Today I will just briefly write about one of them. It is times like this when we face situations that are larger than life and too great to wrap our minds around that I as a pastor realize that I am completely inadequete for the job before me. Soon 25,000 hurting, grieving, confused students will be returning to campus looking for answers and hope. As, things have slowed down these last two days it left me to realize that I have nothing to offer them will make any bit of difference in their lives. That is right, I have no thing to offer them. I can only offer them a person - the person of Jesus Christ and I can only bring comfort and love to them by his strength and through his wisdom and grace. My words are so amazingly insufficient for the situation that the true emptiness makes ones ears ring when they come out. However, God's words speak to our hearts and cut through bone and marrow and dig into our souls. He is the Comforter and the Healer. He is and must be my strength if I am to minister to these students. The reality is that seminary does not prepare pastors for something like this - only God does. This tragedy has been the greatest cure to my often self-sufficient, ego driven ministry. God has shown me how small I am and how great and eternal He and his power are. I call any pastor here who is struggling with pride. Facing the magnitude of this situation will pretty much shattered that pride in no time. Oh to see God in a new and bigger way has brought me low and revived my soul. The reality is that in situations like this some (many?) will choose to sit on the sideline because they are unprepared but others (me, i hope) will jump into action knowing that we too are unprepared but we brace ourselves for the work that God is about to do through us for his kingdom because He is always prepared. Do I have all the answers? Absolutely not! But I do know that the Word of God is sufficient for all things and that I have the very Spirit of God dwelling inside of me. So, go ahead God, rock the foundations of my faith in such a way that I will never see you in the same way again. To You be all the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Right now, I feel like we are in the calm before the storm as students return on Monday. God help us.