Column in Hesston Record

This past week, I wrote a guest post for our local paper, The Hesston Record.  It originally appeared in the March 9, 2016 edition.  This column will feature different pastors from area churches in the weeks ahead.  For those who do not receive The Hesston Record, I wanted to share my thoughts with you.  Have a great week!


#HesstonStrong


We are #HesstonStrong.

This has become the rally cry for those affected by the recent shooting in Hesston at Excel Industries. We, as pastors, of the Hesston churches will be writing weekly reflections as to what this motto means to us.  Check back each week to see a response from pastors from other churches.


Strong. What comes to mind? I know as a teenager I wanted to be strong which involved time and work in a weight room to build abs, biceps, quads, and shoulders.  As I grew up, strength became something that was portrayed in the workplace, home, and community showing others that despite circumstances, you would stand unshakeable.


What does it mean to be strong as we think about the day of February 25th and the weeks that follow? Our community and the surrounding communities need time to grieve and mourn.  And to some these emotions are not strong.  I would disagree.


As a follower of Christ, we see that strength is something that is not mustered up, put on or accomplished through trying harder or doing more.  Strength is something that can be experienced while experiencing loss, grieving, and mourning.  This is accomplished as we remember the gospel which is what Jesus accomplished for you and me through his life, death, resurrection and ascension.


Listen to these words of hope and encouragement for the individual who is weak in themselves but is strong in God: 


Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The
Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)


On Sunday, we sang these words and they were a comforting balm to my soul as I was reminded that we have a loving and powerful God who gives power and might when life is hard. As we look to the LORD and not what we see, we are strong. This is not something we must do, but it is what God through Christ has done for us.


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