Amidst the tragedy of the Oregon community college shooting, I can praise God. No, this was not a pleasant or positive event by any means or anything superficially happy. Yet, I can still praise God for His grace. For His power. For His love. For His work.
I could be angry for such blatant persecution to happen "on our soil, on American soil". I could shake my fist at God asking Him why he brought something so horrible to our country. I could be furious that someone could be so overcome by hate for someone of another faith that they would be driven to kill specific people just because of their God.
Or I could praise God for the bravery and faith of the individuals.
Those who died are modern martyrs. They understood what their faith meant; they understood taking up their cross and sacrificing their plans for the perfect plans of the Father. They looked death straight in the eyes and still were willing to proclaim their faith.
This is the kind of Christian I have been called to be, and the kind I long to be. The kind I need to be.
When I signed up to be a Christian, I signed up to have no rights. I gave up my rights when I surrendered my life to Jesus. I signed up to follow Jesus no matter the cost. No matter the cost.
That's what the students in Oregon were willing to do. They were going to follow Jesus until death. And that is what they did. For that, I can praise God. He brought many true disciples into His kingdom last week, and even though they were taken from us in such a horrific way, they ultimately won because they got to see their King.
My heart weeps for their families, but I pray they find the joy in the end of the grace of the Father.