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I had my first day as a substitute teacher in a local school recently, and in a quiet moment while students worked, I found myself surveying the room to plan what I would do to protect students if we should come under attack.  A deadbolt would lock the door from the inside.  Black paper strips were already attached to the inside of the door to cover windows if needed.  A tall bookcase sat beside the door.  It could be pulled in front of the door as a barricade.  I would order students to huddle down in a back corner of the room, and we could use desks as a shield around us.  Then I realized what I was doing.  At first I called myself crazy, but a bright paper posted on the door giving instructions for just such an emergency confirmed that I wasn’t crazy at all.  It’s our world that has gone crazy.

Violence erupted again today, April 15, 2013.  A day traditionally known as Tax Day to Americans, will now also be the anniversary of the bombings in Boston, Massachusetts.  Two exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  A third blew up at the Kennedy Library.  I pray no more will explode.

School shootings, random attacks, and bombings are unsettling to me.  They make me face the reality that violence and danger can be anywhere.  What can we do?

I find comfort knowing that the goodness of our Risen Lord is greater than the evil in this world.  Christ has authority over Satan. (Genesis 3:15)  The Bible tells us that in our fallen world Satan might win a few battles, but Christ ultimately wins the war.  (Book of Revelation)  The Book of John tells us, “The light shines through the darkness, and darkness can never extinguish it.”   (John 1:5)  In this verse, light refers to Jesus, and darkness refers to Satan/evil.  This verse says that Jesus will always shine through the darkness (evil), and that Satan will never be able to extinguish the light of Christ.  Praise God!

Clouds might hide the sun and the moon at times, but that doesn’t mean they no longer exist.  Their light is still there.  Clouds and darkness cannot extinguish their light.  That’s how it is with the presence of God through Jesus Christ.  God’s goodness and order still prevail, and will forever more.  It is up to us, as Christians, to allow Christ’s light to shine through us for the good of others, especially in dark and difficult times.

As I think about those who have been injured, lost loved ones, or find themselves in fear because of violent attacks, I pray for God to comfort them, bring them peace, and help them heal. May the light of Christ and the hope He brings be ever present in their lives.

 

In recent week’s I’ve been in awe of the changes as Spring has come forth.  From one day to the next, flowers bloom, trees begin to bud, blossoms appear on trees, then the blossoms give way to the fresh green color of new leaves.  It’s been amazing to watch the trees and see how quickly they change from day to day!

Changing also has been the weather, warm and sunny one day, then chilly and damp the next. Yet through all the changes of weather, God’s world remains constant around us, with the coming and going of seasons, and night always turning into day.

I find comfort in the changing, yet steady rhythm of God’s world.

Like the weather, life brings plenty of changes.  We can be walking on sunshine one day, blown around the next, and sometimes face dark, stormy days.  Yet through it all, God’s ways remain constant.  The ebb and flow of life continues, and God’s promises are still true.

Just as God is there to bring newness of life and beauty in the Spring, He does the same with us as we go through changes in our lives.

It is during the changes in our lives that God’s presence is most apparent, bringing forth newness and beauty with each passing day.

Praise be to God!

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.  – Deuteronomy 7:9

The LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. – Psalm 100:5

There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  – Romans 8:28

 

 

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