On Monday night, something happened that shook our nation. With a hurting heart and tear- filled eyes I watched the news of a tragic attack on some of our most vulnerable; our children, our youth. As scenes that seem all too familiar flashed across the screen, this time in a city so close to my heart, I was heart broken. I am heartbroken.
And yet, amidst the moving speeches of defiance in the face of evil, I felt the gentle pull towards a different response. I am beginning to understand that weakness does not mean defeat. It does not mean we have lost. It does not mean that the terrorists have won, for our battle has never been against men. Instead, it is in these moments of vulnerability that the tenacious love of One whose strength is perfected in our weakness comes rushing in, crashing through all fear that stands in it’s path.
Our communities are remarkable in their unity. Our emergency services are incredible in their bravery. Our businesses are astounding in their generosity. The kindness of strangers is stunning in the moment of crisis. And yet, in their beauty, it has never been in these things that our hope is found. Our faithful God is not looking for people who do not need Him, but for people who even in the very darkest hours, lift their eyes and their voices to heaven.
We are weak, we are hurting, and we need a Saviour. I do not want to stand tall in defiance. I want to fall down at the feet of the only One who has the answers and ask Him to help us, to hold us, and to heal our land.
For there is a Father who knows what it feels like to have His Son killed.
There is a Man who knows what it is to grieve the loss of His friends.
There is a God who knows what it is to cry.
There is a God who has known pain and suffering; a God who knows what it is for His body to be wounded.
There is a God who knows the pain of separation.
And though words may fail us, there is a God who will not be silent in the face of injustice.
As we search for hope, may we find it in Him. The One who in every way understands our pain, is fully in control. He cannot be shaken. He cannot be moved. Our victory is not in life continuing as normal. Our victory is in lifting our eyes to the One who is victorious.
This week at MHOP, we sang. We lifted high the beautiful, powerful Name of Jesus over a hurting city. Not because we are great, but because He is. Not as an act of defiance against terrorism, but as an act of worship to the One who is still on the throne. He is worthy, He is good, and calling on Him; our sure and steadfast Hope - is the wisest, safest thing we can do in times of crisis. When the wisdom of man fails, we look to Him whose ways are so much higher.
My prayers tonight are with those who are recovering from injuries in hospital. They’re with the families whose hearts are breaking, trying to come to terms with life without their loved one. They’re with the incredible emergency services. They’re with frightened children. They’re with the muslim community in our nation. They’re with the arena staff. They’re with every member of the government navigating these incredibly complex issues for our nation. They’re with Ariana Grande and her team. They’re with the youth of this nation, for whom God has inconceivable things in store.
We lift our voices to a God who sees, hears and responds - believing that He will move mightily in our midst. In the midst of tragedy, we humble ourselves, we call upon the God of all comfort and we listen, believing that the One who has incredible plans for this city and nation takes delight in revealing the secrets of His heart to His friends.
There is Hope, as an anchor of our souls. His Name is Jesus.
He comforts those who mourn and He is near to the broken hearted. He heals and He binds up wounds. One day He will come again, just as He has promised. On that day there will be no more pain, no more crying, no more suffering, no more death. Every wrong thing will be made right. Until that day, He promises to meet us, right in the midst of it all.
How we need You, King Jesus.
Alicia is on staff as an intercessory missionary at Manchester House of Prayer. She has a passion to see young adults deeply connected to the heart of God and longs to see all people respond to the worth of Christ. Alicia is involved in shaping Intro as well as being part of the City Prayer team. She also serves in the prayer room as a worship leader, singer and prayer leader.