Again we are hit with a tragedy beyond words. Again, we agonize on why. Our nation is reeling from yet another senseless shooting. As Christians what is the proper response? As Parents what do we need to model or teach to our children?
It is clear that these kinds of situations are out of our control. That is despite the political rhetoric about gun control. In Europe gun control is almost total and they still get some pretty gruesome gun incidents. Are these situations out of God’s control? What is He calling us to do? What attitude does He want us to have?
Max Lucado has been a prolific Christian writer and speaker for years and has provided so much wisdom on so many topics. He speaks to this issue:
“It is not God’s will that you lead a life of perpetual anxiety. It is not his will that you face every day with dread and trepidation. He made you for more than a life of breath-stealing angst and mind-splitting fear. And he made you to be a voice of peace in a wild worry-wart world.”
How do you do that in a world that appears to be falling apart at the seams? Paul in his day faced many tragedies and speaks to this dilemma in our lives in Philippians 4:5-6: “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything.”
If we always remember that the Lord is as near as your heart, we will pursue His gentleness because we always should be aware that we are never alone. I know that at times I feel totally alone and without direction or hope, but it is at those moments I feel most moved to pray and speak to Jesus as a friend and the Spirit as a comforter.
I have been through an awful and very trying two years. I will not say that these words were always a part of my vocabulary during these two years. What saved me and kept me centered and grounded was to wake up each morning to prayer and exercise. The exercise calmed my body and the prayer calmed my heart and soul.
I think God is calling us in these tragedies to demonstrate His gentleness. I think He is calling our gentleness to be evident to everyone we come in contact with. Your friends and family will see this in you and benefit from that particularly when they ask how you can maintain that attitude in the face of tragedy.
There is another positive to keeping that gentleness in the midst of trials; you will be sober-minded and clear thinking. When you get scared or angry, your mind is neither clear nor sober. Think about it, have you said things you wish you didn’t while fearful or angry? Have you done things you wish you didn’t while fearful or angry? God is in control. Pursue His gentleness and calm. I know at times we all feel alone, but there is never a time or moment when He is not with us…be anxious for nothing.
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