Can we still speak hope when the unthinkable happens?

When a large part of our inner sense of security crumbles--as it did after 9/11, what are we to do? 

Or when a family or relationship problem shakes our personal world to the core?

How do Blog. 9.11. imagesCAC10WPDwe cope? What do we tell our kids?

We may feel a gaping emptiness inside and long for comfort for ourselves, but feel we have nowhere to turn.    

Even in the day-to-day of life we may have people we care about who regularly (and more so in a crisis) look to us for reassurance and for clues on how to deal with life. 

All the while we may be thinking, I have nothing left to give.  

That's when we do what moms and wives--and dads and husbands--have done since the beginning of time. We give anyway. 

We take our thoughts off what was lost and focus on what is left.

Although we feel drained dry, still we can speak the hope that comes from beyond ourselves. Hope that's based on more than what we see and think and feel. Based on faith in God and the deep-down conviction that when we trust in Jesus as our Savior, "hope" becomes 100 percent guaranteed certainty.

That's because it rests in the One who promised to be with us, no matter what, no matter where and to be our strength, even when we have none left within ourselves.

How do we protect our children in this scary world?

We can't, not really. We can hold their hands so tightly it cuts off their circulation and follow them around like bird dogs, but there's no way to absolutely ensure they will never hurt, never be disappointed.

We watch over them, of course. We hug them and comfort them and speak the love we feel because nobody ever gets too much love and encouragement.

Through it all, good times or not-so-good, every day we commit our loved ones to God's protection, asking Him to watch over them.

How do we model living in faith?

I used to think at some point I would arrive at a more, um, exalted state of being. That I would somehow "graduate," that is, to be always at peace.  

Perhaps you've wished and prayed for that, too. Let's face the (humbling) truth: We are human beings living with never-ending announcements of yet another reason to feel shaky. That's the world we live in, yet we need not cringe in fear. 

My help comes from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep.  Psalm 121:2-3  NLT

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.   Jeremiah 29:11

Come to think of it, isn't that more than enough?

Always, there is help available and it's as close as our nearest Bible.

I've found when I'm running on "empty," the best way to recharge and refuel is to spend time in the Word and in prayer.

Sounds good, but where do I start?

Answers may vary--and that's okay, because each of us is an individual. Like many others, I find it helpful to mark Bible verses so I can find them more easily. 

Verses like these, which I've had marked in my Bible for years:

God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea . . . The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.      Psalm 46:1, 11

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.   Psalm 29:11

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.    Psalm 9:9-10

Living in the world

You and I can't stop the evil in the world--and yes, there is evil in the world. Every year the 9/11 remembrances proves the point.  

It didn't stop with 9/11--and it won't. Ever since Eden, the power of Satan--evil--is with us. 

Evil will always keep trying, but it will never win. In Jesus, the battle is already won. 

Our best strategy for survival--for enduring--is to stay planted in the Lord and keep filling our minds with truths from God's written Word. 

Then when our loved ones turn to us, we'll be ready with love and with strength that comes from the Lord, who will never turn away from us.

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.   Psalm 121:2  

Whatever the disaster, little or large, in Jesus Christ we find the strength and stability to not only make it through, but also to speak peace and hope to those around us.

All this, not because of who we are or our great internal spiritual resources, but because of the One who lives within us.

Trusting, too,

Lenore


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