My eyes were watery, my nose was itchy, and I had a pungent taste in my mouth. Close to 200 structures were gone, just 150 miles away – many of them homes of players my basketball team had played against. How quickly a wild fire can decimate a community is almost unimaginable.
Families and friends, tourists and business travelers… in an instant their lives are ended all because they flew over a war zone.
Rockets and artillery volleyed from one community to the other in a war that never seems to end – a conflict multiple generations old.
In the middle of the night, men storm into your home. Your options? Change the faith tradition of your heritage, pay a hefty fee, or flee with the clothes on your back.
The world you know is controlled by vicious gangs that constantly threaten your very existence. You believe your only option for the future of your children is to send them on an unfathomable journey to illegally enter another country, all with the hope of a better life.
Natural disasters, cultural wars, religious wars, and just mere survival seem to be very tenuous in increasingly more places in the world.
My prayers seem to be endless, as does my desire to push for a hopeful holy response from all God’s people.
In such trying times I am grateful for Paul’s letter to the Romans:
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And the words from Colin Gibson’s song “Nothing is Lost”:
Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God sees with love and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No journey too far, no distance too great,
no valley of darkness too blinding;
No creature too humble, no child too small,
for God to be seeking, and finding.