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It seems that this week has been the week of bad news. Not for us, really. I mean, we certainly have our share of hardships, but, I dare say that’s true of every single (honest) person. No?
What I’m talking about is the shocks that life deals you every now and then. We tend to forget how fragile and chaotic life can be at times, and merrily go about our “routines” until all of a sudden we are either directly the victims of some tragedy, or we are intimately connected to it.
This week a friend is dealing with sudden, unexpected news that her sister’s family is dealing with a very serious health issue. Then, I was set to meet with a potential new client of my web business, when he called at the last minute to cancel, due to his wife needing immediate emergency dental surgery. I could hear his voice tighten up with emotion as he told me over the phone, “They think it is cancer. Oral cancer is very bad.”
And all this follows Saturday’s shooting where a federal judge was shot and killed, along with a 9-year-old girl, a 30-year-old man, and three people in their 70s. We tend to get caught up, when speaking of that incident, on the occupations and/or political roles of the people involved: the congresswoman who survived, though critically injured; the federal judge; the aide; etc. Aside from the little girl who was killed, we forget that those are all people: husbands/wives, daughters/sons, brothers/sisters, grandparents… and just neighbors or friends.
Tragedy hardly ever hits us when we’re expecting it to.
Another person I know is dealing with legal issues of some kind and just greatly burdened by that. There doesn’t ever seem to be an end of injustice and tragedy!
And there doesn’t seem to be any answer when we’re in it.
So what have I been doing? Well, offering any kind words that I can … sometimes not offering any words (which seems more helpful at times). And asking God to bring his peace. There are a few verses from the Bible that keep coming to mind:
6Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. 7Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.
(I even have a song that is from those verses.)
God does not promise that life will always be “smooth sailing” and/or predictable. But the repeated theme through the whole of the Bible, and especially the New Testament is God gives (or brings) peace. That’s what I’ve been asking for those people we know—and those we don’t know—that God would bring them peace. Some things won’t get better. Those people who have lost loved ones won’t get them back. But they may know, they may feel God’s peace.
We can’t control what happens tomorrow, nor can we change what has already happened. But we can live now knowing that God is right here with us, in our tragedy. That was beautifully illustrated in the book The Shack: God goes with us through whatever life may bring.
So I am asking God to bring that peace to lots of people right now. Perhaps you will join me in asking the same. Perhaps you need to know his peace today. If that’s the case, I’m asking God to give you his peace right now, too. He is the God of peace.
No matter what chaos life may bring.