Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Badlands

I selected this photo of Larry standing beside a sign indicating "Badlands National Park" to represent the Badlands we sometimes must cross in our journey of life.  Although the park is full of amazing formations and color, nobody wants to spend time in the Badlands of Life.

Earlier this week, a good friend of ours from church was in a serious traffic accident in the middle of the afternoon.  He was trying to do a good deed to help a motorist who'd gone off the road, but his good intentions backfired.  As a result, Chip lost his leg just above the knee and for a while he was in critical condition.  I'm sure he started his day just like usual and had plans with his family for the evening. Then, in a heartbeat, his whole life changed and he cross over into the Badlands.  While the rest of us were going about our normal activities (and whispering frequent prayers for his recovery), he was in surgery fighting for his life.  It's all such a jarring dip in the road of life.

We are thankful that Chip is recovering well and, knowing his indomitable spirit and faith in God, he will be back on "his feet" in record time.  As we ponder these sudden tragedies, however, it seems like bad things are happening all around us more and more frequently.  It often leaves us wondering, when will the ax fall on me or my loved ones?  That's the kind of thinking that can lead to fear and insecurity -- and failure to trust God.

In Matthew 6:34, Jesus is telling His listeners, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Rather than focus on all the negatives going on around us and fearing the worst for ourselves, we need to trust our Creator and Sustainer who promises that He does indeed hold the whole world in His capable hands.  I know, sometimes that's easier said than done -- I fail in this area far too often, but the more we can grow in the truth of God's love and grace, the greater will be our peace. 

 As Sarah Young writes in Jesus Calling, "Let Scripture saturate your mind and heart, and you will walk steadily along the path of Life -- even though you don't know what will happen tomorrow....  Do not be afraid, for I am with you.  Hear Me saying Peace, be still to your restless heart.  No matter what happens, I will never leave you or forsake you."



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