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 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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