It’s so hard.  I mean, what can a person do?  We know that death can come like a thief in the night.  We do not know the day nor the hour in which we will be gone and no longer in this world.  But when that day happens, and when that death is a teenager, what can you do?  I struggle with this because of recent news.  Not only was my home state of Illinois plagued by the shootings at NIU this past week, but the place I called home for the past 6 or so years had its own tragedy.  On Saturday morning, I got a call from a graduate of the youth group at Jefferson Street Christian Church in Lincoln, IL.  This was the church I previously worked at before moving to NH.  He was calling to inform me that there was a car accident, and one of the teenagers who died was a student in the JSCC youth group.  I think back to just 6 months ago when I was still serving in Lincoln.  I saw this girl at church and youth events.  Now, she is gone.  I think of all the students and families who are struggling at this time, who are mourning over the loss of such a young life.  Then, I think to myself, “what can I do?”  I know that I should pray, and I have, but I want to do more.  I don’t know what “more” means, but I know I want to do it.  And I struggle with this on a greater scale, because I am physically so far away from those who are hurting.  I think that maybe if I could just be there, things might not be so bad.  I know this is ridiculous to think, because I cannot make things all better.  But something inside of me just wants to help.  I know it’s the Holy Spirit working and making me feel this empathy.  So I, in turn, rely upon Him to comfort and create peace for those who need it — those who might be struggling to know if there will ever be a time when they can live life “normally” again.  This is my prayer for those people — that the God of peace and comfort will wrap His loving arms around you and hold you tight, reassuring you that everything will be all right, even if at the current time things seem horrible.  I also pray that you will come to know the same hope that I have — that one day we will not have to suffer like this anymore and that Christ will come back some day and rescue us from this place.  I know that sometimes life seems like hell, but we have a promise from our Creator God that this is only temporary.  Know that I am here for all of you if you need to talk or whatever.  But more importantly, know that God is ALWAYS there, and is waiting for you to call upon Him (even if that means yelling and screaming because you do not understand what is happening).

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