Comfort in Times of Trouble

Last evening I was beyond blessed to have some dear friends drive into Denver as a family photo (8)to spend time with me. They picked me up at my hotel, and whisked me away to tour an area that they thought I might enjoy in the city. My heart was overflowing with joy and gratitude to spend time together, as we shared a meal, caught each other up on the happenings of our lives, and wandered until we landed in an incredible book store. All was going splendidly, as I had found a book, Melissa and the trio of youngers were sharing a silly story and Josh and his eldest meandered through a section of interest nearby, until the calm, sweet mood was suddenly disrupted with a feeling of foreboding unrest.

We could hear it before we could see what was stirring. Soon, a long stream of unhappy people were marching past the bookstore’s front window, waving signs – some in peaceful protest, and others in a bit more menacing fashion. Two of the kids had very different responses. One was calling it a parade, whereas the other responded with a bit of fear. In my own heart, I felt that we needed to stay put until the crowd had passed, as the potential for unrest seemed high.

I had not heard the news this week, as I have been at a conference for work, so I have been in a bit of an isolated bubble. As we ultimately attempted to make way back to my hotel so that I could be dropped off and my friends could get home to get their kiddos to bed, we discovered that the march was growing, as a five-minute drive back, took more than twenty minutes, due to rerouting around those protesting.

Once back in my hotel, I was able to have conversation with my friends from work with whom I am traveling, and discover what has gone on over the past several days. It is impossible to not have a heavy heart, knowing that lives have been lost and fingers are pointing at entire professions and populations, rather than those specific individuals who snapped.

 

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT)

 

In this sort of scenario, all that I know to do is to seek the Lord. There are no easy answers. God knows. He cares. The One who hand-crafted each of us, the perpetrators, the victims, and all those left to grieve – He loves each of us as His created. God will comfort us as we seek Him, and when we know His comfort, we are able to extend the same to others. May we choose to seek His comfort in this seeming chaos, and offer the very same comfort to those around us.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

When darkness floods in,The Lord Listens

And fear starts to rise;

Let us not forget,

The hope God supplies.

He is our comfort,

When chaos ensues;

The great Prince of Peace,

When we get bad news.

Far greater is He,

Our Strength and our Light;

Than troubles that come,

No matter our plight.

Seek the Lord above,

For comfort indeed;

Then we can share well,

With others in need.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our comfort in the midst of trouble. Thank You that as You comfort us, we can then go and comfort others in the same way. Forgive us for our fear, frustration and thoughts of blame of anything other than the sinful brokenness of humanity. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek Your help, strength and comfort, so that we too, could extend comfort to those around us. Help us to be Your hands, heart and voice to those in need of comfort. Show us how to love well. May many come to find peace and comfort in You, despite the world around us. Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy. – Hebrews 4:16

Choosing Strength and Courage

This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, NLT)

 

As I prepare to depart for a four-day conference in Denver, this is an excellent reminder. Though I am not necessarily feeling fearful, I am a bit uneasy, as I venture into the unknown. Being away from my boys while I fly several states away, and tackling new training for a job that I want to do to the best of my ability, are triggers for a bit of nervousness. I know that God will go before me, be with me, and will be with my boys, but it is still an unknown. Strength and courage come as we choose to trust, so I must choose to trust this day anew. May we each hold the truth in our hearts as the new lies before us. Not only are we called to trust, but He commands us to be strong and courageous in Him. The Lord does not ask of us anything that He will not also equip us to do. Let us go forth in His strength and courage today.

 

With courage and strength,Compassion in Confrontations

Choose trust in the Lord;

For He’s always near,

With grace to afford.

Whatever we need,

The Lord freely gives;

To help and to guide,

So in Him, we live.

As our God commands,

Be strong and be brave;

The Lord’s ever near,

And by grace, He saves.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not be afraid nor discouraged in You. Thank You that You command us to be strong and courageous – not in our own strength, but in Yours. Thank You that You are with us wherever we go. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of faith. Teach us to trust You more, as You go before us and make a way where we are uncertain or afraid. Show us how to love others well, so that they too might find their strength and courage in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be strong and courageous because You are with us. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19