Monday, March 14, 2011

The Whole Earth Shakes

World events in recent weeks have sent tremors around the world politically,  economically, and physically. Through natural eyes, the world looks less secure and even fearful. Thoughtful people wrestle not only with the implications of these events on nations and individuals, but with the deep spiritual questions inevitable when revolution and tragedy strike.
It is natural to blame God for what happened and to ask why a good God lets such things happen. I used to get stuck on this thought. In recent years I've learned to hold certain facts about God and Satan up as a filter through which to view the world and it's harsh realities.

1. God is good, God is love, God is just and God is holy - everything done by God is motivated and flows out of those characteristics. There is great dichotomy in those qualities. There are not simple answers to complex crises.

2. Satan is the ruler (albeit temporarily) of this world and works to steal, kill and destroy. He does everything he can to turn our eyes off of God's love and kindness and works to get us to blame God for his evil deeds.

3. God is patient in ending Satan's reign on earth. He wants to give opportunity to as many as possible to turn to Him for hope and LIFE before He ends the world as we know it and puts Satan away forever. 

Until that day, we live in a world full of trouble and difficulty. Hope comes as we trust God's goodness and hold fast to faith in Him no matter what circumstance we face.

I don't pretend to understand God or His timing. I find such tragedies horrific and incomprehensible. I often feel small and helpless in the face of world events. I do know I serve a God who has power to make good out of what Satan means for evil in individual lives. 

Join me in asking for God's mercy on all affected by the crises in the Middle East and Japan in particular and in taking action to relieve suffering when the opportunity presents itself.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Celebrate or Grieve?

As we approach the end of 26 years spent in Alaska, I have reason to grieve many things. In this circumstance, grief is a choice on some level. A close friend who often gives me ideas worthy of reflection invited me to celebrate what we have experienced here and the people we love rather than wallow in grief over the changes to come. I took her counsel to heart and find that, so far, I am enjoying the time I have left here.  I know there will be moments of sadness and I will grieve the necessary changes of a move across a continent, but I choose to do that when the moments come, not anticipating their arrival and nursing their emotions into moments that don't deserve them.

It seems to me God encourages us to live in the moment, in the day we have rather than in the future. We are told each day has enough trouble of its own, so worry focused on what might happen tomorrow is a waste.

I'm also reminded that every good gift (including people) is from God. Choosing to enjoy those gifts as long as I have access to them is a delightful way to live these fleeting days.