It’s been a harrowing week. Exactly one year since the Parkland anniversary, some threats were made regarding a “bloody Valentine” at my child’s high school. Thankfully, we have a proactive administration who got in front of things and made sure the students in our district were safe. Our superintendent decided it was better to err on the side of caution and not hold classes on Valentine’s Day.
Prior to this decision, I had a talk with my son about whether he should go to school. His answer floored me. He said, “Mom, I have to go. If something happened in one of my classes, I need to be there to help people. I would feel terrible if I stayed home and people were hurt.” His answer simultaneously made me proud and broke my heart.
Not only is my kid on that campus, but my classroom is right next door in the adjacent middle school. I had students messaging me afraid to come to school. The stress of living in these times is a lot to bear. This morning my mind was so filled with the cares of this world I didn’t think I could pray. Some say what do prayers accomplish? Tragedies still occur.
Here is my answer: prayer is the most important part of my day. It enables me to cope and do the hard things.
I quieted my mind and began to focus. I read some scripture. The words – as they often tend to do – were perfect for a time such as this. 2 Thessalonians chapter 3 talks about how we have protection from the evil one. The author asks for deliverance from wicked and evil people. And most importantly, 2 Thessalonians 3:6 says this:
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love.”
The thought of God’s love enabled me to carry on with my day. It made me think of one of my students who experienced salvation just this week. I commented on his good news, and he said this: “Mrs. Preston, you feel a lot of relief after. You know, I thought I was happy before. But somehow now I’m even happier.”
I’m thankful God brought his words to my mind. I’m glad he reminded me of my hope and the need to maintain a quiet confidence in order to be strong. Instead of continuing to agonize over a scary situation, I unplugged and spent an hour outside playing with my puppies. It reminded me of childhood and all the times my Mom would get me outside to appreciate God’s handiwork.
This is my hope in the midst of sadness, in the midst of all kinds of trouble. Praying for all those today who do not have this hope. Put your trust in Jesus, friends. Choose hope.