Many Canadians – and even some from abroad – have been talking about the terrible tragedy of the accident that killed and injured so many people associated with the junior hockey team from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, that occurred last week.
As is customary in our social media age, people have done many things to mark their solidarity with the people affected by the accident. They’ve used #HumboldtStrong hashtags; they’ve worn t-shirts or hockey sweaters; they’ve set hockey sticks outside their front doors. Flags have been lowered to half-staff.
Beyond all these symbolic gestures, what has struck me is the way in which the team’s chaplain, Sean Brandow, spoke into the situation at a vigil. (You can watch or read his entire speech here.) He did not gild the lily; he was raw and honest in dealing with the pain and anguish of the tragedy. But he also proclaimed the hope that exists in the midst of sorrow and grief. He didn’t claim to know all the answers. He didn’t claim to understand the mysterious ways of the Lord. But he pointed to the One who has all this figured out.
Brandow said, in part, “I don’t claim to understand how this seems like it’s in God’s control at all, but it is. He’s still on the throne, he’s still God.” That was a statement of faith that everyone present needed to hear.
It’s a statement of faith that you and I need to hear.
Whatever we may go through that we can’t fathom…whatever may occur that seems to suggest that God’s lost control of the situation…God is still on the throne. It may not appearto be the case, but when we make a statement of faith, we’re not talking about appearances. We’re talking about objective truth.
It is not up to followers of Jesus to have everything figured out. It is up to us to proclaim our faith.
So, by all means, be #HumboldtStrong. But as a Christ-follower, above all, be #JesusStrong.
“The Lord is my Shepherd…” (Psalm 23.1)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation…” (Psalm 27.1)
“God is our refuge and strength…” (Psalm 46.1)
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3.20, NLT).