My son broke the news early to me yesterday morning. The body of Mollie Tibbets, the 20-year old Iowa girl who has been missing for over a month, was found.
We held out hope for her to be found alive. For her to be okay. She went missing just days before RAGBRAI began in July. This year’s route took us within 15 miles of the town she disappeared from (and about 5 miles from where her body was found yesterday). Everywhere we traveled on RAGBRAI we saw Mollie Tibbets Missing signs and cards and reminders of her absence. Bill and I would converse daily while peddling on our tandem about Mollie, her family, her possible whereabouts, and this heartbreaking situation. We tried to wrap our heads around it. And, we prayed she would be found.
I couldn’t shake the heaviness in my heart.
I still can’t. “This could be one of our children,” I would say. I thought of how often our young adult children go out on their own. After all, why wouldn’t they? They’re adults, for goodness’ sake. They might jog or go for a walk or be outside on their own. They go shopping or out to eat on their own. That’s what we all do, right? We leave our homes often alone.
Have we become a world where we can’t do that anymore? Where we can’t go anywhere alone? Without the fear of tragedy striking us or our loved ones?
These are the moments when nothing seems right in this world.
When everything we’ve ever known about humankind gets tossed out the window. We question and wonder and fear the worst. We begin to look over our shoulders instead of looking forward. Trust disappears and hope disintegrates. Our security is flipped upside-down, shaken, and strewn about.
God, where are you? Where are you when nothing seems right in this world?
It’s during times like these when I cling to what I know.
God is still God and He is still good.
You are good, and you do what is good. Psalm 119:68a NCV
God hasn’t forgotten us.
The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry. Deuteronomy 31:8 NCV
We can’t begin to understand why these kinds of terrible things happen, nor can we fathom how someone can take another’s life. But, friend, now is a good time to remember this world is not our home. We’re here for a brief period of time. And, while we’re here, Jesus warned us we’ll experience trouble and difficulties and suffering. But, He also reminded us He’s overcome this world. He’s conquered it all, and what we have ahead of us–our true home–is so much better. We have much to look forward to!
Until then, when nothing seems right in this world we can live in real and truth-filled hope.
We can pray.
We can be sure and fearless under the shelter of the One Who knows the number of hairs on our heads.
God is our shelter and our strength. When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. So why run and hide? No fear, no pacing, no biting fingernails. When the earth spins out of control, we are sure and fearless. When mountains crumble and the waters run wild, we are sure and fearless. Even in heavy winds and huge waves, or as mountains shake, we are sure and fearless. Psalm 46:1-3 The Voice
We can read God’s Word to find comfort and peace.
We can share the hope we have with others.
And, we can shine bright in this dark world.
I pray for Mollie’s family and friends. I pray for God to comfort them with His peace and love. And, I pray for us too. That when nothing seems right in this world we can completely trust in the One Who is right, Who is sovereign, and Who has the final say. God is still God, and He is still good. We can rest in that truth today.
We grieve the death of Mollie Tibbetts. She left an unforgettable mark in her 20 years of life on this earth. May her example inspire us to do the same.