Trusting God in a bloody world

Trusting God in a bloody world (1)

Trusting God in a bloody world – because who else are you going to trust? The headline alert was displayed on the lock screen of my phone when I woke up, like the rest of the world.

Bombs. Explosions. Terror attacks. Dead. Europe.

Unlike the rest of the world, one of my dearest treasures is in Europe. You know, when you’re a mother and you let your heart walk around outside your body, or in this case, fly 30,000 feet over Europe while the Brussels airport gets ripped apart by suicide bombers.

Bombs. Explosions. Terror attacks. Dead. Europe.

Psalm 112:7, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. NIV

WHO ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO TRUST?

You probably know that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when the phone rings in the middle of the night, or the car isn’t in the driveway in the morning or the calls keep going straight to voicemail. Your mind hops on a bullet train and transports your thoughts straight to the police department or the hospital or worse. Borrowing trouble is easy, but the interest payment is awfully high.

Matthew 6: 34, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” MSG

WHATEVER HARD THINGS

“Whatever” pretty much covers it, but worry is a waste. If I were a worrier, I would not let him go. It’s not that I think the world is safe. No, I want him home.
Images of bloody clothes and strewn bodies in the subway and airport got personal in an instant. The protective detachment I usually feel with news coverage of strangers in anguish, scrambling and shock dissolved. This mother’s eyes saw fresh that those bodies belonged to someone’s kid, some college student traveling for spring break, some family member going home for a visit, some business man or woman traveling for work or someone’s fiance’. Each one oblivious to the evil targeting them.

1 Peter 5:8, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” NLT

ALERT

My son is oblivious too. He texts me pictures of the cathedrals he visits and the authentic food he eats. As a caution, I sent him a copy of the state department’s travel alert:

Exercise vigilance when in public places… particular caution during religious holidays…

LIKE MAYBE EASTER?

Easter is a bloody holiday. It’s also the only truly safe place in a bloody world.

Jesus willingly strapped on the vest of human skin. He knew when it detonated His own flesh would be torn to shreds. Unlike the terrorists in Brussels, Paris and Iraq, His suicide mission’s purpose was to bring life, eternal and abundant, rather than destruction and devastation.

Jesus willingly strapped on a suicide vest of human skin with a mission to save the world… Click To Tweet

John 10:10, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” HCSB

HARM’S WAY

I talked to the boy on the phone yesterday, except he sounded like a man. We will all be relieved when he gets home, but we know first-hand home isn’t safe either.

This same weekend last year, my mother couldn’t drive fast enough while I prayed all the way to the emergency room to meet my family. While surrounded by serene waterfalls ans stable rock formations, our world shook violently. The sun set peacefully on a horizon sculpted by mountains as a body board evacuation invaded the tranquility of our safe little corner of the world. That night I slept on the couch in the same room as my man-child, as if my presence two feet away offered a sliver of protection from the unknown glitch in human physiology. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. Sometimes more fearfully.

Peace is NOT a place
Peace is NOT smooth circumstances
Peace is NOT being sure everything is going to turn out alright, peace is knowing you’re going to be okay even if it doesn’t
Peace IS trust in a living God who is good all the time, even when bombs go off
in airports
in our bodies
in our homes
True peace cannot be explained

PEACE 

Pray for Brussels, pray for Europe and pray for my son traveling five thousand miles home on a “religious holiday.”

Pray for peace, not only peace on earth, but in my heart, and yours.

You see, the Prince of Peace was bloodied so you could receive Him and His offer.

Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” KJV

THE KEEPER

Oh that Christ Jesus would keep your hearts and minds. That, my friend, is my prayer for you.

John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” HCSB

If we acted like we say we believe, I imagine the whole, bloody world would want what we have.

Check my Facebook page, Vickie Petz Henderson and I’ll post a travel update. If you received encouragement and want to receive my posts in your inbox weekly then enter your email address in the annoying box that pops up. Feel free to share with  your friends as well. Happy Easter.

EASTER changes everything

Easter changes everything

Matthew 28:6, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay.” NIV

GOOD PEOPLE GO TO HEAVEN?

Walking across the vast Tiananmen Square, our tour guide pointed out the shrine that housed the body of Mao Zedong.  “People think he was a god,” she said. I questioned, “But his dead body is over there?” Blankly she affirmed, then added, “It’s  not like Christianity where good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell.”  Um,  not exactly…

Romans 3:10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” KJV

EASTER

Christians celebrate resurrection, new life and abundant life, but honestly, the cross is gruesome. A crown of thorns is not much of a warm fuzzy sentiment either. For many reasons, Christianity is offensive to many, just as Paul said it would be.

I Corinthians 1:23, “But we preach Christ crucified:  a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” NIV

RELIGION

Every other religion in the world requires man to work to get to God. Since Heaven is viewed as a reward to be earned, people often say, “I’m doing the best I can.” Christianity is counter intuitive – God made a way for man to get to Him instead of man trying to make his way to God. Who is worthy?

Revelation 5:12, “They said with a loud voice:  The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”  HCSB

ODD CELEBRATIONS

Easter is never mentioned in the Bible and in fact, the very word may have pagan roots. Nowhere are we instructed to celebrate resurrection. Chocolate bunnies and jelly beans are a peculiar way to commemorate a dead body emerging from a tomb, yet this year in the United States, 2.2 billion dollars will be spent on candy. Seriously. Candy.

Investing in new clothes to impress people you have not seen all year – even stranger. Americans will reportedly shell out 2.9 billion dollars on Easter duds this year. This is despite the fact that more people plan to cook or spend the day with family instead of going to church.

I Peter 3:3, “What matters is not your outer appearance-the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes-but your inner disposition.”  MSG

Food accounts for the majority of Easter spending, a whopping  $5.3 billion. And what about ham? Of all things…

Leviticus 11:7, “The pig has evenly split hooves but does not chew the cud, so it is unclean.” NLT

BUT WE SHOULD CELEBRATE

We are offered a gift. It’s a trade really; our sin for His righteousness. Because although sometimes we are arrogant enough to think we deserve more, the wages of sin is death. Wages are earned. Pride is the biggest stumbling block, because we think we are good and we deserve to earn our own way and determine our own destiny. But we all fail, no exceptions, no exemptions.. Sin is anything that falls short of God’s holiness and His perfect laws. Death is not merely physical, it is eternal separation from God. A gift is free, it is unearned and you don’t pay for it. Why do we want to bring something to the table when we have nothing to offer except filthy rags? The gift is eternal life.

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  KJV

EASTER CHANGES EVERYTHING,  BUT DOES IT CHANGE YOU?

Because of Easter I am different. My perspective is different, my reactions are different and my life is certainly different. So, I will celebrate being a new creation and the gift of eternal and abundant life, despite my circumstances.

 2 Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” NLT

BUT, I AM NOT GOING TO CHURCH 

I have to be honest, I won’t even be there this Easter Sunday. I’ll be on the road, temporarily relocating my daughter to Atlanta. We ate Easter dinner from my grandmother’s china last weekend, which is a family tradition. And I probably need to tell you we ate ham. Of all things…

Every holiday I read scripture from my grandfather’s Bible pictured above.

Do you have a meaningful way to celebrate Easter?

(Statistics quoted from National Retail Federation 2015)