I woke up to an update on last night’s events in Paris, with ISIS accepting responsibility for the attacks that killed over 100 people and injured many more. In a statement calling the act “blessed,” they claimed it was the “first of the storm.”
My social media feeds are filled with pictures of the Eiffel Tower and pleas to #prayforparis. They are also filled with shock, heartbreak, and most of all, fear. We’ve been hit before in catastrophic proportion, so what would make us think we wouldn’t be hit again?
Storms come quickly, don’t they? Certainly, we have the inkling that something is brewing, dark clouds gathering in the distance, a change in the makeup of the air. Some of us feel it in our bones, an ache that warns breaking weather. When they do, we hunker down, go buy some bread and milk, and turn to the safety of our storm shelters, trusting in the strength of the walls tucked deep in the earth to keep us safe.
But we don’t live in fear of storms; at least most of us don’t. We don’t constantly keep a trained eye to the blue skies, wondering if the wispy clouds floating above are going to turn gray in an instant. Most of us trust the sun, relishing in its warmth and walking in its light on our paths. Most of us also realize that living in fear of the storms is a fruitless, life-stealing venture. We don’t have control of the storms.
There is only One who does.
Today, in the midst of worldwide panic and chaos, I’m choosing to live my life without fear. To embrace each second, and let the force of any coming storm serve to strengthen my faith. I’ll trust the walls of my Shelter to keep me safe and keep my eye trained on the One who calms the storms, rather than the storm itself.
I will not let the storm win, no.
The enemy may claim that this is the first of many, but my trust lies in the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. My life will be lived, full, in the Light of the Son.
I will not be afraid.
As evening fell, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took him just as he was and started out, leaving the crowds behind (though other boats followed). But soon a terrible storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water and about to sink. Jesus was asleep at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they wakened him, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are all about to drown?”
Then he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Quiet down!” And the wind fell, and there was a great calm!
And he asked them, “Why were you so fearful? Don’t you even yet have confidence in me?”
And they were filled with awe and said among themselves, “Who is this man, that even the winds and seas obey him?” ~ Mark 4:35-41 TLB
“I am the A and the Z, the Beginning and the Ending of all things,” says God, who is the Lord, the All Powerful One who is, and was, and is coming again! ~ Revelation 1:8 TLB
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. ~ Psalm 91:1-2 ESV