Good morning, blog friends. I’m popping in unscheduled today to share something I wish I had no reason to write about. But it’s weighing on my heart, and I’m asking for your prayers.
Yesterday we woke to the news that school was cancelled because a family from our small, close-knit Christian school was involved in a senseless shooting at one of our favorite local parks—a lovely place where families gather to walk and bike and climb playground equipment. Our school family lost a child from the fifth grade class and her dad. Two younger children survived unwounded—one of them a fellow preschool student—and their beautiful mom is recovering in the hospital with thousands of prayers going up from those of us in the school and church community.
Media is calling it a random act of violence, but as believers we know nothing is random to God. Every day ordained for us was written in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). When we are stunned and shaken, he remains wholly in control. Nothing surprises him. Nothing thwarts his sovereignty. A friend posted this yesterday, and I can’t say it any better:
“Our family is shaken, our school is shaken, our church is shaken, our community is shaken, but our faith in Jesus Christ is NOT shaken. God knew what would happen last night. He was there. I can’t pretend to know why He allowed THIS to THESE people. What I DO KNOW is He WILL do mighty things.”
It’s times like these we are challenged to place our faith above our limited human understanding. Why does God allow tragedy? I can’t pretend to know, either. But I do know he works all things together for good. Even when we can’t see how.
The victims’ family made a statement yesterday, which a local news channel published on Facebook.
That is the power of Christ in us.
No evil in the world can take it down.
And if mainstream media can post a message like that—which as of this morning has been shared more than 2,400 times and counting—then I’d say God is indeed already doing mighty things.
Please pray for us this morning, as our kids are returning to school where emotions and questions will be hanging thick in the air. This is a lesson in trusting God that I wish I didn’t have to explain to my eight-year-old just yet. But she knows Jesus, and she is imagining what school is like for her friend today in heaven. Bless her. No wonder God tells us to have the faith of a child.
If God is stirring your heart to do something, then please pray for the Stoffel family. I also want to let you know about two memorial funds available to help them. One has been set up by loved ones through a third-party service, which will take a small percentage of each donation (7 percent) while the rest goes directly to the family. If everybody who reads this gives just $1, $3, $5, $10… imagine what God can do with your generosity. That link is: http://www.gofundme.com/tp7qve64
If you prefer to give in a manner that directs 100 percent of your donation to the family, please e-mail me directly at rebeccakopitzke (at) gmail (dot) com, and I’ll be happy to send you a private link to a memorial fund set up by the family’s church.
Most importantly, hug your husband and kids tight. In a world of question marks, God is our only sure answer. I don’t know how anybody lives without him.
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