Feeling Small In the Wake of So Much Evil…

I’m at a loss of words after reading the accounts of recent events, both domestically and internationally. I just find myself feeling so small in the wake of it all. What can I do, sitting behind a screen, reading of unimaginable horrors being played out in real life? The families of the 12 victims in Washington and those of the 68 in Nairobi, Kenya…they, at the very least, deserve my intentional thoughts and prayers. And my prayer is genuinely for them to find hope in the midst of such utter chaos.

What is the proper response to such events as an American, unaffected directly by the catastrophes?

 

The truth is that it could have just as easily been my family. Evil is bleeding into more frequent reality and I can’t help but heed thought to this truth. How do we face an uncertain tomorrow? How do we walk through the shadows of a deteriorating sense of comfort and safety? These are questions that I believe all of us need to ask ourselves as we walk into the near future. My immediate thoughts are to hold those that I love close and move forward with trust in God for the days to come.

The scary truth, however, is that this unknown future that I speak of is complete reality in the present for those affected by recent events. All I can think to do is intentionally about sincerely pray that God would move powerfully in their hearts and lives. I have to exercise full faith in the truth that God WILL hear our cries and WILL be present in very real ways. Prayer has more power than you and I will ever know, but we have to be willing to fully give our time and focus to these petitions.

There is no room for waiting for “tomorrow” to get right with unresolved conflicts in our lives. This is the time to be vigilant in the night as the Bible says. This is the time to be alert in our faith. We all have a specific call on our lives to be light to a dark and hurting world. This is also the time when I believe it is most important to stand together as the church. I’m thankful for the community that I do have and want to be as much a source of encouragement as I can.

In the midst of or Christian lives, each new day is where the rubber hits the road. The best thing I can think to do is “lift my eyes unto the hills” and trust that God is still in control. We can pray in petition for our brothers and sisters overseas who are feeling the heat today. All of this is coming from a person who is merely reading about these things on a computer screen.

We still have a call to pray. We still have a call to be light where God has put us. We still have a call to be prepared for when we, ourselves, feel the heat.

 

And I believe that, in light of current events, we will all be directly affected in some way or another in the near future.

Let us be thankful for each passing day that we are given and the many blessings spread throughout.

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With My Foot Over the Hill, Gravity Did The Rest

How many times have you chosen the easy road?

How many times have you turned away because something seemed too hard?

My answer to that question is that I’ve lost count

I’ve recently started to experience the incredible growth that we all can know by choosing to be challenged. You see, it’s not just taking a hard task as if comes before you, it’s intentionally seeking out challenges so you can learn what you’re really made of. Don’t wait for life to throw hard stuff at you, but put yourself in a situation where you have to develop new skills through hard work and repetition.

 snowboard pic

An example of this process in my own life is snowboarding. I recently moved to Lynchburg, VA to go to Liberty University. Having never snowboarded in my life, I decided to intentionally put myself outside of my comfort zone. And I’m finding the benefits to be great.

When you push past the fear of doing something different and take the first step, you develop a hunger to take on even bigger challenges.

When I put my board over the hill for the first time, I was terrified. But I resolved to make the move anyway and gravity did the rest. Sure I fell down (several times). It took me falling down to build the confidence I needed. We know all too well how that applies to so many other areas of our lives…or do we? I hope your answer is yes but if not, make the first step in whatever challenge that is hovering around you. You’re likely to fall a few times but it will be well worth it.

As you face new challenges, one small step at a time, I think you’ll be surprised by how much you really are capable of. I, myself, am surprised by how much I’m loving the sport of snowboarding. It was, and is, so foreign to me but I’m slowly making progress through the falls. I’m meeting new people that I never would have if I didn’t make the trip up that mountain. And now I’m thinking of what other challenges I have yet to take on.

What I’m talking about involves risk and it involves uncertainty but there’s a huge part of life that we miss out on when we stay, comfortably, within the familiar.

Take on a new challenge this week and tell me how it goes in the comments. I’d love to hear what the experience teaches you!