Tuesday, April 29, 2014

God Bless

I don’t pretend to be a theologian.  I wouldn’t have to run my mouth very long to convince you of that.  In the wake of all the loss and storm devastation that has blown across the country, I wouldn’t want to try to wade out too deep in trying to explain why bad things happen to people as if I know exactly how God works.  And I certainly wouldn’t want to put on any airs like I never go to Him with questions and disappointments about losses and tragedies that we suffer, because.......well, I do.   

Fully aware of my own weaknesses, sometimes I look at the 24 hour news cycle and the life circumstances of other people and I try to imagine myself in their situation.  With my glaring frailties in mind, I’m usually certain that I could never endure some of the trials that I see others walking through.  Standing on top of a pile of twisted lumber, littered with all of my earthly possessions, while looking for a loved one would have to be among the very top of that list.  Through the lens of my inadequacy and self-awareness, even thinking about some of the possibilities that life can offer is overwhelming and downright fearsome.

I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know that we are promised, in this fallen world, that we will have trouble.  Some will have more than others.  Some really good people that I’ve known have shouldered what seemed to be the heaviest of burdens and, other times, irreverent, uncaring souls appear to enjoy smooth sailing.  I know the Bible verses that speak to that, but I don't pretend to fully understand it.

I also know that, in this life, we will never completely comprehend how God works.  Sometimes, years after a terrible event, we can look back and see how eternal good may have stemmed from it, but, on earth, we'll never fully grasp the big picture. 
Even though my load has been generally light so far, I have rounded a few corners in my life to find a dreaded situation staring back at me.  When I got there, though, it wasn't like I'd imagined it would be at all.  What I needed to face it was already there....the calm, the hope, the strength, the resources.....it was all there.  Those things didn't come from inside of me, but from the One, who knit me together, who knew my strengths didn't match what I was about to face....He filled in the gaps and stepped in to help me. 
That's what we can hope for the people, who have suffered loss this week by this formidable development in their lives.  I pray that in the situation that they find themselves today....the one they could've not even imagined a couple of days ago....that they have found that God is already there, laying out what they need and who they need.....exactly when they need it....not only so they survive, but so they become "more than conquerors".   
There are so many stories emerging of people, who died in an effort to shield someone they loved from harm.  Daddies shielding children.  A childcare worker holding a baby.  A boyfriend protecting his girlfriend.  There are also friends, volunteers, and emergency workers, who have left their own homes to go and help with whatever is needed.  Love is alive and well in the hearts of the American people.  God is providing. 
My prayer is that the people, who stand in the rubble of everything that they've ever known, even though there's no visible or logical reason for it......that they will experience the peace of God, the vision of better days, and the strength to trudge on and rebuild their lives. 
That is the hope that God offers.  God bless those suffering loss in our country.   
"Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world."  John 16:33


  1. joni, thank you for this. a tornado came through our town in march of 1997, leaving six dead & devastation in its path. i still tear up thinking about how people just seem to forget all their differences & help each other in these times. you walk through walmart & there's just a kindness in people's faces (i know that sounds crazy but it's true). when people are dealing with the nightmare of their lives, having pat answers is the last thing they need. b/c really - we just don't know the whys. so thanks for not doing that.
    what i do know is this - God is good and He is big enough to bring good even out of the very worst situation. and He will use my hands, feet and money to help others if i'm willing to share them. i love your prayers & am praying those with you today.

    1. Amen, Tracey! Love this so much....

  2. Just a beautiful post! I love your prayer that the people affected find God when they are looking for what’s next. Just lovely!

  3. Loved this post. Beautifully written! I'm so thankful that whatever comes my way God is right there with me.

  4. Well said. All we really can do is pray and keep moving forward.