Words can't describe the response that came from the devotion that ran on Friday. Many comments and emails later, I am at once hopeful and concerned. So many of you are facing very real hurts and very real fears. So many of you posed questions that are hard to answer-- questions I have wondered myself and can't offer very good answers to, to be honest. I find myself often saying to God, "You are sovereign Lord. I know Your thoughts are not my thoughts and Your ways are not my ways. Therefore I will trust You even when I can't see or understand Your greater purpose."
That might sound simplistic, and perhaps it is. But sometimes that's all there is to say. And so, when I start to feel anxious and worried, I just keep my thoughts where they should be, instead of letting them run away from me. I have to choose to trust God, no matter what. I have to look back at the times He has shown me that He really was at work when I didn't realize it, and look ahead to the times He most assuredly will be at work again. I can't get mired down in the moment.
If you haven't taken the time to read through the comments from Friday's post, please do so. If one of these needs really touches you, please take the time to pray for that person. There were several that really touched me and I hope they will keep me posted on what happens in their lives. God is a good God, a loving God who is just as grieved by the evil in this world as we are. I have written that my verse for this year is "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." I pray that each of you who are facing fears will be given a portion of strength just when you need it, in the exact amount you need. People are hurting out there-- we need to be praying for each other.
(Oh, and Ashley, if you read this, I left a comment on Friday's post specifically for you with a link to a sermon my pastor preached that I think will really speak to your heart. For anyone else who would like to check out his most latest sermon series, here's the first video, and you will see links to the subsequent ones on the righthand side of the page. They are all worth watching but the last one in the series was my personal favorite!)