For people in my area and in my circle, there have been a number of significant unsettling events. First was the major earthquake in Nepal, where several young friends either live or are currently visiting. Then the riots in Baltimore, where many of my friends live or work, even some serving in the police. Who can make sense of an earthquake? And even more so, who can make sense of senseless violence, striking out at innocents?
In these unsettled times, there is only one safe haven, and that is God. One of the verses that I both take comfort from and see a direction for my desire to DO something is Philippians 4:5-7, which says, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
Because the Lord is near, we can rest in him. But just to be sure he doesn’t miss anything important (okay, maybe it’s so we get to partner with him), we can discipline ourselves to be aware that because he is near and because he cares, we can begin by thanking him, and then, in that attitude of faith that comes from recognizing our basis for thankfulness, we can present our requests, knowing that he hears us. When we are at that point, we are ready to receive his peace.