A 3:30 a.m. call shattered the stillness and darkness of that early morning. It was from our son Jonathan with news that one of our beloved young pastors had taken his life. His wife was on her way to the hospital and needed a pastor to come immediately.

Loud cries, tears, questions, and more tears. With each passing day, I sense afresh the reality of the brokenness of this world we live in; and the hidden brokenness suffered by one I knew and loved. I cannot wrap my mind around this. So unexpected. So inexplicable.

How strange that we who are fragile, mortal clay, should in moments like these be required to hold such truth and treasure in tension. I am perplexed. Did you know that at times, even the great apostle Paul was perplexed as well? As he wrote, “. . . we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are . . . perplexed, but not driven to despair…” (2 Corinthians 4:7-8).

Not everyone likes puzzles. Greg can walk by a puzzle and never give it another glance, but not me. Normally, I love puzzles—to sit for hours making a pile of random pieces into a beautiful picture. But I cannot make the pieces of this one fit neatly together. At times like this, I am at a loss for words. I have no answers or explanations for the depth of this sorrow.

But this I know. There is One who hears and understands.

There is One who shed tears of pain and anger at death. And I know enough of my Lord Jesus to trust that He alone can bridge the chasm of broken hearts and unbroken faith.

How do I know? Because of the testimony of Scripture. His Word remains true. My faith is not shaken, neither is my commitment to serving women and our mission at Virtue. If anything, I am all the more determined to equip women with the Word of God. This is how we grow in grace and experience stability . . . no matter what happens.

Just days after Pastor Jarrid took his life, our Virtue leaders gathered to prepare for a new season of Bible study. While this is a season of shock and great sadness, we are committed to study and know God through His Word. This is of greatest value and we will come through this.

I confess how weak I have felt navigating these uncharted waters. News like this can be immobilizing and disorienting. But in the midst of it, I hear clearly the Lord’s promise and the charge He gives to all of us, even as He gave to Moses. I am the Lord and I will be with you. Know Me, know My ways. I am leading you out in order to lead you in.  

God used Moses to lead the people out of bondage and captivity—not merely so they would have freedom—but in order that they would know Him, the source of life and life abundantly. His Word, the Bible, is that story, start to finish.

This testing of our faith is refining. It is refocusing. It is revealing. Yes, we are perplexed, but not despairing. God is still working in the midst of this messy, broken world.


“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9