Fear and faith

by Paula Harrington

Dear Lord, Please Protect Us….

I was praying with my youngest the other night when right in the middle of the prayer, I stopped. My mind had drifted to the news I had just watched a few minutes earlier.

Tornadoes had ravaged Kentucky and much of the south that evening. There was talk of towns being demolished. The death toll was still undetermined but it was clear that some, if not many, had lost their lives and their loved ones. We had hunkered down only hours before due to the tumultuous weather.

I thought of other times when I hadn’t exactly felt God’s protection. Deaths, divorces, and acts of wickedness have stopped me in my tracks. I remembered questioning where God was and how he could ever let such atrocities happen.

My daughter’s blue eyes searched mine and I wondered if the words I had spoken over the years have been setting her up to doubt. Because pain will come. Tragedy will strike. Evil will have its moments and even its days.

Broken hearts and broken roads will be common, but in all of them, I never want her or any of my children to ever think that God has turned his back.

I don’t want them to assume that he doesn’t love them because he didn’t keep them from every hurt and every difficult moment. I want them to know that regardless of what this life brings, God cares and is no stranger to heartache.

He was there when Cain killed Abel. He saw what it did to Adam and Eve.

He watched Joseph’s brothers throw him in the pit and saw Jacob mourn.

He knew Job’s suffering.

He was too familiar with Mary’s.

He watched the Christians of the first century tortured and murdered in despicable way and he’s seen us on our knees, as well.

Our love for God should never depend on him keeping us from the woes of this world. And although God can work all things out for good (Romans 8:28), God isn’t behind all things. Evil strikes because evil exists.

We may never understand the whys and how comes, but we must trust the one who will have the final say. He is our love, our strength, and our protection even when we can’t feel it, bear it, or see it.

So, I took a deep breath and chose my words more wisely:

Dear Lord,

Please protect us and watch over us as we go about this life but even if bad times come and break our hearts, please give us the strength not to leave you, not to turn our backs on your, and not to blame you.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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Paula Harrington

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