I had just dropped the boys off at school when I clicked on the trucks’s radio. My breath whooshed away at the horrible words the reporter murmured.
“A father threw his five-year old daughter from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge yesterday…”
A father threw?…his daughter?…
My mind jumped, scrambled to find it. That verse. The second-to-last verse of the Bible. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
“Please come quickly Lord Jesus!”
I jabbed the radio button silent, dammed up my tears because I had to work in an hour, and groaned in prayer. Pleading questions that burned my throat and heart.
The tears came anyway.
A father – did this? To his own daughter, who couldn’t even swim? A father who is supposed to love, protect, cherish, and adore his little girl?
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
A heart-wrenching incongruity rattled me even more. There’s a local family, dear friends of our dear friends. We don’t know them personally, but have prayed for this family, for the battle they’re fighting to hold onto their middle daughter’s life as she fights a terminal brain tumor.
The five-year old tossed heartlessly into Tampa Bay and the six-year old covered in prayer daily by thousands both matter. No matter their life circumstances, they are two who matter to the One who created them.
When I fling my tears toward heaven it’s mostly with the suffering of children. With the young lives beheaded thousands of miles away and with the many distended bellies filled with air, not food.
The apostle Paul knew suffering. Body-breaking suffering. Better yet? He knew Hope.
“For I consider that the present sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope…And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:18-20, & 28)
If you’re like me, God created your soul sensitive. Like a sponge that soaks in others’ hurts and pain and often can’t quite squeeze them out. The human experience cuts us deep and wide. God surely has great and useful plans for His sensitive souls, plans to glorify and honor Him as vessels to share His love of His creation.
Yet we carry burdens that press us painfully hard into the failing earth.
Sensitive soul, keep your gaze on heaven’s throne. Keep your fingers flipping through His Word.
God does not fail. He does not change. Jesus is all we need. And our Savior IS seated at the Father’s right hand, and He will return for His saints.
Two little girls’ faces still fill my mind’s eye. Two who matter. I still don’t understand the whys. But I trust that their tragically short lives will affect others in ways seen most clearly on the other side of eternity.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!