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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Dealing with Tragedy (Hebrews 4)

This has been a difficult week for many in our community. Some events in life are so tragic, we cannot find healing on our own. Some events are so overwhelming that we can only survive and heal from them before the throne of God by His grace alone.


Last Sunday, we had an amazing experience at our church. As our worship team sang the Revelation Song, we were all just overwhelmed with God's presence, feeling like we were standing before the throne of grace, worshiping God, totally filled with His presence. The Holy Spirit was absolutely with us as we worshiped God:


Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty

Who was and is and is to come

With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings

You are my everything and I will adore You


Several times in Revelation, right before God gives John understanding about future events that will be difficult for him to bear, God gives John a beautiful image of the throne of God. That image of the throne carries John through the difficult visions of the future that he will soon see and need to write about and share.


On Tuesday of this week, there were reports of a gunman at our local Target store shooting an assault rifle. The police arrived, confronted the individual and tried to get him to drop the gun. He was unwilling. So they were forced to shoot and kill him. No other people were injured. But later we found out that young man, who was severely afflicted with mental illness, was the nephew of someone in our faith community. Someone who used to attend our church and do Bible Study with us. Someone who felt God calling him to start up a ministry a few years ago to help people heal from suicidal thoughts (No Shame Ministries). Thankfully our friend knows that he can only find the healing he needs from this tragedy by coming boldly before the throne of God.


Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in times of need.


On Thursday this week, we found out the son of our long-time church drummer was killed in a car accident in our community. The 911 operator who took the call at 3:00 am Thursday morning was our church worship pastor. I cannot imagine the hurt and devastation Tim and his family are dealing with. At the same time, Ryan, our worship pastor, was working double shifts all week, training new 911 operators.


How do you heal from something like this? How do you find the strength to breathe, the strength to rest?


It is only at the throne of God that we can find the strength to even take a breath after tragedy like this knocks us down. It is only at the throne of God that we can find the strength we need to move forward, to function day to day, to live. It is at the throne of God that we find our purpose for living out another day.


So, will you join me before the throne of God, today:


Clothed in rainbows of living color Flashes of lightning rolls of thunder Blessing and honor strength and glory and power be To You the only one who's King


Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty Who was and is and is to come With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings You are my everything and I will adore You


Filled with wonder awestruck wonder At the mention of Your name Jesus Your name is power, breath and living water Such a marvelous mystery


Dear Lord, Every time this week that I think of our friend, Larry, who lost his nephew and Tim, our church drummer, who lost his son, my stomach turns. I can't imagine the pain and sorrow they are experiencing with each breath they take. Lord, please overwhelm them today with your presence. Please fill them with your Holy Spirit. Please give them breath and strength to seek You with all of their heart, to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that they may receive mercy and find grace to help them in this time of need. Lord, we all need You. We all need to experience Your presence. Please fill us with Your Holy Spirit, this day. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.



Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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