What a beautiful awful mess of a world we live in.
A thousand miles away, bad guys change our day.
I learned of the terror walking into a restaurant to celebrate my husband’s birthday with our 8 year old. It was impromptu so our grown kids were not there. It was just the three of us, hoping for some great steak.
We watched the screens from our booth and the questions poured from Lauren’s quivering lips. We distracted as best we could, but our eyes were nervously drawn to the screens. A lump in my throat welled as I saw service men rush to the scene while others ran away. I jumped on Facebook to see if our friends in Boston we’re safe, a sigh of relief as we learned they were unharmed.
We asked Lauren about soccer and school, but her little eyes peaked up to see the bloody mess unfolding. Our nation was again under attack by an unknown enemy and our sinking hearts told us that we would never be the same.
Lauren leaned out of the booth to reach across and pick up a crayon when she fell to the ground. She was not hurt but burst into sobs and tears, reacting much deeper to the fear on the screens than the fall to the ground.
I stuff the pain and fear, I’ll be fine. I know that life will go on. That’s what I tell myself. It’s how we numb.
The raw reality is that we are all changed. We flinch faster.
I pray. I trust. Truly I do, but not naively.
I will not pretend that if we pray hard enough, terror will stop. There will be pain, there will be sorrow; we will hurt. But my faith in the fact that God is with me and will never leave me, keeps me from suffocating as I watch the images and hear the sirens.
Jesus never said that the world as a whole would be safer if we prayed longer and harder.
John 16:31-33 Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
This side of heaven we will have trouble, but He also promised that if we trust Him, we can be deeply at peace. If we let the noise of Korea, or the voices on the left and the right, dominate our minds, we will be shaken and live in a shallow place of terror. Please don’t.
Yes, be alert, follow the leading He gives, but remember that we can live with unshakable peace if we trust that He is with us- He will not abandon us.
I do watch the news, I am vigilant, I am aware or the dangers, but I will not be a hostage to the fear.
I will choose to lean on the One who promised me peace. I pray that you do too. Religion won’t get you there. Following the rules alone will not bring you peace. If the ‘do’ing was enough, Jesus would not have chastised the religious leaders of the day. He came to reveal a relationship that was no longer about rituals and buildings made of stone, it is about relationship with a Father that loves us. It’s about orphans (you and I) finding forever homes.
It’s about finding peace in a world of chaos, terror and disorder. It’s about recognizing that He love us, He is with us and will never leave us.
Only then can we see the beauty and miracles around us and let gratitude fill our wounded hearts and homes.
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.” Hebrews 11:1
Our lives are a reflection of who/what we trust. Bad guys can change our day, but trusting in God makes life worth living.