On Tuesday, January 16, WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski took his life. The grief rocked the WSU campus, and it's unfortunately a grief that too many people across the world have experienced. Resonate Pullman Pastor Josh Martin shares his thoughts in the wake of tragedy.
Last Tuesday night, while rocking my daughter to sleep, I received a text about Tyler’s death. I followed the link and read in disbelief.
After scrolling through the police report multiple times, the weight of it started to settle in. I could feel the tears, so I closed my phone, shut my eyes, and tried to keep singing to Lucy. The song says, “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He would give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure.”
Somewhere around, “that He would give His only Son…”, the sadness became unbearable. I quit singing, held my little girl, and wept.
What crushed me that night wasn’t just the loss of a young man with a bright future. What crushed me was that sin has so infiltrated and devastated our world that hurting people are left to believe there is no way out. Sin is a liar. It lies to us and it lied to Tyler.
So often suffering make us feel isolated and alone. We are tempted to believe the lie that no one sees us, hears us, or knows us. That could be no further from the truth. Truth is: God is not simply aware of our suffering, He is grieved by it. He responds to our pain with a Father’s heart: I hear you. I see you. I know you. You are never alone.
The entire biblical narrative can be summed up in one word: deliverance. That may seem overly simplistic but I assure you it’s not. Because deliverance implies captivity. Suffering. Sorrow. Waiting. Wanting. And needing to be saved from a power you are powerless against.
Deliverance is the overarching Biblical narrative, because it’s the action of being rescued or set free.
There is no doubt sin is powerful, and it has caused great sorrow in our world. It has many of us in its grip right now, but make no mistake, God has no rival. Where sin runs deep, his grace runs deeper still.
However bad your circumstances, God can deliver you.
However dark your past, God can deliver you.
However present your struggles, God can deliver you.
However captive you are, however dark it is, however deep you’re in, however long it’s been going on, God can deliver you. There is always a way out. You can be set free. This is good news, not good advice.
Religion tells you what you have to accomplish for God, that’s advice.
The Gospel tells you what God accomplished for you, that’s news.
There’s a lot of good advice out there in the wake of tragedy, but there’s only one place for Good News, and that’s Jesus.
Jesus is most bright and beautiful when times are most dark and tragic. Go to Him - it’s the best advice I offer, because He’s the best news in the world.
Cougs, take your cares to Jesus, and let him heal you now and forever.