There was a fog that fell on Chardon Ohio last night. Though the untimely warm temperatures helped to create the visible fog that swept through the city, there was a fog unable to be seen but could be felt for miles. My heart is breaking for the community of Chardon, especially the students of Chardon High School. Most of us will never know the effects that those kids will encounter for the rest of their lives. Their entire existence changed in a second.
Recapping the last few days in my mind is tough. I live about a half hour away but as one reporter so perfectly stated "Tonight we all live in Chardon". This statement could not ring more true. The loss of three young men have effected each and every human being that has heard of these senseless shootings. In some, it may have triggered memories of past traumas in their life. If that's the case, they most likely went through every second of the day their life was changed forever. For others, it may have triggered fear. When things like this happen we all worry. We wonder if we will see it again, and this time closer to us, if not us. Either way, something changed for everyone.
The most common thing stated amongst the people interviewed was the fact that they cannot believe it happened in their town, which is a scary thought. We as humans have been deceived to think that it can't happen to us, whatever "it" is. We live in a world riddled with sin. The bible says in the garden of Eden, sin was born through a snake and a couple (Gen 3). Since that day, the world was a different place. Instead of living life in communion with God and walking with Him through the garden each day, we are subject to the god of this world, Satan. God's word says that Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Anything that comes from him is evil because that's what and who he is. Satan was working on Monday, February 27th and he continues to work today. He will be the one that is telling you to be afraid to go back to school, or to fear our children in school. He is the one who is telling you to hate the lost boy who caused these horrific tragedies. He is the one who has told you not to worry, nothing bad can happen in a small town. He is nothing but a liar.
So as we all sit in what seems to be a hopeless despair and ask what's next? The answer is easy, God! For years I have heard people mock God. They say things like Jesus is a crutch that will get you through a tough time. The funny thing is, they are kind of right, let me explain. Over the past year God has been showing me who He really is. Let me tell you that I, in no way have Him figured out, but He is so much more than I have allowed Him to be in my own life. Today when I sat to write, I got quiet before the Lord and asked Him to give me the words. As I prayed, it was as if He was asking me who I think He is. I began to list out loud who I believe He is, even in the midst of tragedy. Some of the names that I listed were God, Creator, the I Am, Holy, Mighty, Strong, Salvation, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, Healer, Comforter, and that's just a few. His word speaks of so many more names for our God.
For those of you who do not know this God as I do, I pray you will call out to him in the quiet of your room. When we are faced with a tragedy such as this we have two choices. We can carry on with life as before and stuff our emotions deep down or perhaps become really angry with God for not stopping what happened, or we can look up admitting that we do need a Savior. Right now we are all limping, if you are not, you are not breathing. So yes, we all need a crutch. Jesus is that crutch who helps us to walk as we limp. You see Jesus, the Son of God was born to live as us, to teach us, and to die for us. He did so because without his blood being shed, there would be no forgiveness and no entry into heaven (Heb 9:22). So our Comforter is offering the crutch to help us learn to walk again, to help us rest our wound. He is here for you right now if you call out to Him with the knowledge that without Jesus you cannot be forgiven (John 3).
Admitting that we need Him in our lives is the easy part, from there, if your request was purely from your heart to God's, life as you know it will never be the same. If you are willing to walk with this crutch, you will need to listen to the Great Physician (Matt 9, Luke 4). You will need to open the bible and begin to read because according to John 1:1 God is the word. It would be wise to seek someone of faith who can mentor you. It is also vital to find a bible based church that will teach you as you grow (1Cor 12:12-31).
So as we continue to journey through this time of sorrow, I pray for the families that will lay their children to rest this week. I pray for the kids that must face their fears and walk through those doors again. I pray for the community that must learn to live again. I pray for the boy who sits and awaits his fate here on earth, that God may breathe truth into him before he reaches his final judgement after death. I pray for his family that I imagine are carrying his actions on their shoulders. I pray for all who have been viewing this tragedy unfold over the last four days, for healing and obedience if God is asking you to reach out to someone either physically or financially. This God I speak of can heal you if you let Him. He will help you to walk better than before but only if you put your trust in Him.