How about both...
The last two weeks have been profound. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a span of six days, these have been some of the most emotionally condensed and diverse days possible. From a joyous wedding of a childhood friend in Idaho to mourning with a grieving family in Florida. Like this conflicted celebratory/sad day in May, the trip was both... other than the sadness wasn't a Hollywood fiction but a deadly reality.
While in Florida I saw a man tearing down the street on a motorcycle like a bat out of hell. What made this occurrence perplexing to me was that he was wearing a protective surgical mask with no helmet. 2021 kinda feels like this scene to me. We're protecting our bodies but not our minds. Mental health is at staggering all time low according to a recent Gallup poll; the virus isn't the only killer. Processing through two close suicides in six months is a record for me... one I hope is never touched again. If I expand this count to friends of friends I never actually knew, the suicide tally doubles. People really need hope during this perplexing time. People need the hope of Jesus. Pauls words in 2nd Corinthians 1 ring true:
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
We were created for community. Right relationship with God leads to right relationship with people. You are loved and you are known by the relationally intimate and holy Creator of the universe. You are loved, not because of what you can or can't do but because of who God says you ultimately are: the adopted child of a King through Christ's life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Peace with God leads to peace with ourselves, leads to peace with others. John 3 says this:
16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Find freedom and fullness of peace in your forgiven identity today by accepting God's free gift of salvation from your sins (sins are anything that break relationship with people and God like lying cheating or stealing) through Christ who took our deserved punishment as our substitute. Confess your sins to God and then ask him for forgiveness... then use your freedom to fully love others. Accept your truest identity as a forgiven child of God and then freely live out of it. You aren't just saved from sin, you're saved to God's glorious plan for the universe. This means participating with him in the restoration of this broken world - chiefly the hurting people in it. Your life matters because God's mission matters. You are loved and you are known. If you're hurting, tell someone - if no one is there, tell God then find a church community you can be in relationship with. You are loved and you are known!
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