Summoned to Stand

image by Muara Fatan

image by Muara Fatan

In the path of destruction,

and in the throes of such pain;

let us not forget our God,

who rules in spite of the rain.

Amidst the devastation,

where all seems rubble and dust;

these places where hope rises,

evidence of faithful trust.

For even in great sorrow,

promised joy again will rise;

as beauty from the ashes,

grants us hope to realize.

Where there is fear and darkness,

we are called to stand and pray.

May we offer what we can,

be His hands and heart today.

Rise up all His beloved,

for we all can do our part.

Today, what is He asking?

Answer.  That is where we start.

image from abcnews

image from abcnews

“We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” – (Psalm 33:20)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in the midst of devastation and destruction, You are still God.  Help us to not lose sight of Your strength to save and restore, even out of the spaces of seeming total wreckage and rubble.  We lift up all of the lives impacted by the recent collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh, the earthquakes, the fighting, corruption, terrorism, and most recently, the terrible tornadoes in Oklahoma.  Lord Jesus, help all to see Your light in the darkness and devastation, and grant us wisdom to know what You would have us do in response.  Forgive us for being apathetic to that which does not directly impact us, and grow in us, a passion to pray and to pursue that which You would have us do, to be Your hands and heart to the hurting.  Lead us in Your love, so that many may come to know that lasting hope is held in You alone, and is not dependant on time, space, nor circumstance.  Thank You that You are forever faithful and worthy of all of our trust.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Mourning’s Light

image by Michele

image by Michele

“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35

Two small words that speak volumes of God’s heart for us.  This short sentence gives account of our Savior’s response to the loss of a loved one, and those He also dearly loved that were left behind to grieve.  What I love so much about this historical account, is that the story did not end in their time of mourning, but instead He went on, moved to do the miraculous, and raised Lazarus from the dead.

God is a God of compassion who comes close and carries our heaviness and holds our hearts.  I imagine gentle tears graced the face of Glory in recent days, as He has held the hearts and hands of the grieving.

I think also, of what a devastating decision He chose to make when He sent His Son to be our Savior.  He knew the road our Redeemer would have to walk and the death He would have to die.  Knowing the coming anguish, He still chose to come close.  Tears likely touched the faces found in heaven at His earthly descent, yet surely they freely flowed upon His rightful return to His heavenly throne.

Christmas can be a challenging time for those caught in the midst of mourning.  I imagine that joy is a little harder for the families of Sandy Hook to find this season.  My assurance lies in knowing that He sees their pain, and is present among them.  He weeps as they weep, and mourns as they mourn.  The beauty that is promised, is that there will be joy again.  Despite the devastation, God’s goodness and grace will fill that place, and the people will rise again.  He will bring beauty from the ashes and hope from the sea of tears.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a God of compassion who comes close.  Thank You that You are not afraid to shed tears and allow Your heart to be heard.  Forgive us for hiding ours.  Teach us to trust You enough to be transparent, so that others may feel Your comfort and compassion as we do not shy away from coming close to those in need.  Father, please be the comfort and strength of all who are affected by the devastation in Connecticut.  Lead us to love as You love us, so that many may come to know You as the Light of the world this Christmas.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present