My day ended with with thoughts of 5 year-old Taliyah Marsman on my mind. I’d listened to Ryan Jesperson and Andrew Grose field texts and phone calls from irate listeners on an unscheduled 630 CHED radio program in response to the terrorist killings in Nice, France and the discovery of Taliyah’s body.
A Pastor And The Death Penalty
All Albertans held their collective breath as we waited with hope that Taliyah, missing for four days, would turn up somewhere safe with a caregiver. We took a collective punch to the gut with the discovery of her body and the 1st degree murder charges laid against the suspect.
Then the calls flooded in for the death penalty to be re-instated for such heinous criminal acts as the murder of a child – Alberta’s third in 2016.
I say “Amen” to those calls.
You say, “But you’re a pastor. You believe the Bible. You follow Jesus. You can’t seriously support the death penalty in 2016.”
Yes, I do.
But a lot of good that does.
Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976. The likelihood of the death penalty being re-instated in our political climate is nil.
Since 2011, first degree murder convictions come with eligibility for parole after 25 years.
As of 2013, 4,800 offenders were serving life sentences in Canada. Only 2,880 were incarcerated – the remainder being on parole. 96% of those offenders were serving their sentences for murder.
Should Taliyah and her mother’s murderer be found guilty there is the likelihood of parole.
Feelings Of Futility
This morning I felt intensely frustrated by the unfairness and futility of life. I wasn’t all that comfortable with the face in the mirror staring back at me.
I have a position of community responsibility but feel impotent. More often than I care to remember, my prayers have not been answered in the way I had hoped. I feel like I’ve let people down. After thirty six years of the emotional load of pastoral ministry I wonder when my limit of crisis, disappointment, suffering and death will be reached.
In the face of futility my Father in heaven sent a thought – “What you can do now is needed. Carry on.”
Even In The Darkest Places
I can’t help Taliyah now or the people killed in Nice, France. The prayers for miracles that were unanswered do not mean the next person who believes won’t experience healing or deliverance.
I’m going to keep pouring my life into doing what I can do now.
I’ll love on my grandkids. I have a granddaughter the same age as Taliyah, a four year-old, a seven month-old and one expected in September. I can show them their world is God’s world. God is good and can be trusted.
I’ll keep giving my life for a congregation my wife and I love and are pleased to serve on Jesus’ behalf.
I’ll keep praying healing for 12 year-old Katelyn Murray as she battles leukemia and five year-old Jordan Gagnon as she battles GAN.
I’ll keep interceding for the release of a Canadian friend under arrest in a foreign prison.
Today, I’ll help a young woman with inoperable, terminal cancer to plan her end of life service.
Tonight I’ll meet with a couple for pre-marital counseling to help ready them for their wedding day and more importantly, their happily-ever-after.
I’ll finish preparing a message for North Pointe’s 10th Anniversary Sunday services on the faithfulness of God.
I’ll look forward to the baptisms of three teenage siblings this Sunday who are devoted followers of Jesus. Their mother, Angela was told that she would never have her own children.
They make me smile.
My faith in God is unshakeable and my will is unbreakable.
God is good….all the time. All the time….God is good.
APPLICATION: Do you ever feel the futility of life? What do you do? Please leave a comment below. Thank you for joining the conversation.
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I don’t envy you the responsibilities you have, Bob, but I am very grateful you have them. I know of no-one who can do them better. You listen to God, and that is such a valuable commodity. God bless.
Thank you Gary for reading, encouraging and the blessing! God bless you in all that you do with To Save A Child.
We love you Pastor Bob and so very thankful for your tender heart. The load is heavy but the reward is great. We are so blessed beyond measure to be part of the flock under your care. Its is a God given gift to have eyes that see, the pain, the sufferings but also the joy. May you always be able to give thanks IN all circumstances and the heart to bring it all to the cross. <3
Thank you, Angela. Looking forward to Sunday and three Hawrylak baptisms!
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The next few verses remind me of you, Pastor Bob, especially verse 17. Thank you for pressing into Him and continuing to spread hope!!
People are feeling that the world is especially troubled over the past couple of months. It is unsettling and creates a sense of soul weariness but trouble doesn’t have to trouble us. There is hope in Jesus. Thank you for commenting, Anita.
Indeed God is good all the time. He showed his goodness and mercy to me when He died on the cross for my sins and every day He continues to love me no matter what. He is good good Father and I will keep trusting in Him no matter what.
Thank you for sharing from your heart Pastor Bob. All too often these days, I ask myself “if I feel this way about what is happening in our world, how does our God feel”? Thank you for being you. You are making a difference in a world that is so broken. Keep marching on Mighty Warrior Of God.
Good perspective on asking, “How does God feel?” His attention to detail is greater than ours, isn’t it? The number of hairs on our head. The depth of grief or joy in our lives. God bless.
I just came in from a long run and read your blog, Pastor Bob. As I ran, I was wearing my purple “Walk, Run, Ride” shirt and my thoughts were about how much you and Jocelyn’s support of this event every year. How you both courageously participate, running and walking. I felt blessed and impressed by both your dedication to this event and Jocelyn’s relentless sponsorship collection. You do so much for the community, the congregation, the Village of Hope and the community there! I hope the next time you look in the mirror, you can see how God is making you into his image. This is what I see. Well done good and faithful servant. God is good, all the time…..
Humbled by your comments and encouraged. Thank you, Adena. This is a genuine mutual admiration because we are inspired by your commitment to Burundi and the total effort over the years that you put into your fundraiser event. You are a person of action – who walks the talk.