Two days before my husband and I left for a bucket-list Alaskan cruise in July, North Korean’s mass-murdering dictator Kim Jon-un announced he had a nuclear missile that could reach Alaska. My heart leapt in my chest when I heard that stunning news. We went anyway, and tried not to think about that possibility.
While we were on the cruise, we booked another one that begins and ends in Barcelona. And then…last week, Islamist terrorists killed 12 people and injured nearly 100 more who were innocently and joyfully sightseeing along a pedestrian mall in Barcelona that is popular with tourists. Just like we plan to be doing next year, in a place we may very well walk next year.
Going back a few years, I remember that the week before my first trip to Haiti to visit my daughter and son-in-law, there were multiple state department warnings about danger in that destitute Caribbean country. I still went, alone. I felt completely safe and had a blast. I’ve been back eight times since and I will keep going.
Still, the news we are now subject to almost every day from abroad and around our own country of seemingly non-stop terror attacks and crime and life-taking hatred make all of us think twice about everything we do. Like, maybe Barcelona isn’t such a good idea next year.
Maybe going anywhere isn’t a good idea.
But then, I think about God. As a woman of faith, He is my ultimate source of dependence and trust for everything, including my safety and, yes, my very life. Every day when I walk out the door for the ordinary, and every time I get on a plane or a ship for the exceptional, I must believe that my life is in the hands of the God who created me and loves me, and trust that He will care for me until my very last day on earth.
As I listened this morning to a discussion on the radio about the terrorist attack in Barcelona, and mused about the wisdom of going there myself, I heard that beautiful quiet voice remind me that He is God and He is in charge no matter what I do or where I go. I started thinking about the many ways God tells me in the Bible to live in complete trust and faith in Him. As you read some of my favorite Scriptures below, remember that they are not just pretty words—they are his promises to us. God wants nothing more than to love and care for us and make sure we live closely listening to His guidance and tightly wrapped in His arms. If you are unsure how to enjoy that kind of relationship with God, read this article by Grit and Grace founder, Darlene Brock.
He created me and designed every day of my life.
He knew when it would begin and knows when it will end: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Emphasis mine, Psalm 139:13-16).
He is sovereign.
That means God is in charge of everything. Every teardrop and drop of rain is noticed and allowed by Him. We do not understand much of it; I cannot possibly with my own eyes and heart see and accept war, the abuse of children, or people of different political parties literally hating each other enough to run each other down with a car. But I believe that He loves us beyond what we can comprehend and that all His ways are good. I will only find deep and lasting peace in my spirit and rest for my soul if I fight to believe this every single day. “Our God is in heaven; he does what pleases him” (Psalm 115:3). “And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one” (Zechariah 14:9). “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:39). “Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it” (Deuteronomy 10:14). “Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:13).
He is adamant that we do not live in fear.
So much so that He told us specifically “fear not” or “do not be afraid” hundreds of times throughout the Old and New Testaments. These words are not just meant for fears about traveling, but for everyday fears about our children and marriages and health, our jobs, our futures and our struggles with depression and anxiety. “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). “You (God) came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear'” (Lamentations 3:57). “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). For more Scriptures to calm your fears, go here.
God is the source of my peace.
I can only find true peace for my aching spirit over the atrocities of the world when I rest in God’s guarantees that He will ultimately work out—in a beautiful way—all the things that are so ugly today. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'” (Matthew 19:26). “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23). “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The LORD works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Proverbs 16:3-4).
You’ll also like Taking Heart, Even When Tragedy Strikes, Battling the Mind Monster: A Letter to My Mom, When You’re Desperate to Know the Reason for Your Pain, You Are Loved More Than You Know, How to Pray: for Beginners, and On Faith, Social Media, and Politics