A diagnosis came in, and cancer devoured. A bus lost control, and horror happened.
Day after day, we hear of terrible tragedies all over the world, many happening to those who call Jesus Lord.
Doesn't He care? Doesn't He hear?
Sometimes my own fair has felt as frail as a thread as I cling to the surety that God is good and He knows what He is doing. But the questions still haunt.
Recently I've been trudging through the book Bonhoeffer, by Eric Metaxas. It's not easy reading, but it is SO worthwhile. I've stalled on these words by twenty-eight-year-old Dietrich Bonhoeffer as Hitler is plotting to completely take over the German church.
"There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes."
It is natural and normal to desire safety for those we love. I would never ask for my children to suffer, and I sometimes rail at God when He allows it. But He desires much more for us than a physical sense of security. He wants us to trust Him. No. Matter. What.
My parents did their best to protect me as I grew up, to the point where I often felt stifled. But they could not keep me from getting sick time and time again. Their best efforts could not prevent a stranger from grabbing and molesting me as I walked home one evening from a friend's house.
But throughout my life, God has been molding me into the person He planned me to be. Part of the molding hurts.
Right now these words spoken so many years ago are challenging me to rethink my prayers. Do I dare trust God completely and pray, not for safely, but for peace? No matter what?
Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)
My greatest desire for all those I care about is that they will trust God with all their heart, strength, and mind.. He knows what it will take for that to be fulfilled. So from now on I will pray that they will, in everything life throws at them, trust God completely, and that they will live in the peace that comes from faith and obedience.
No. Matter. What.