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Monday, August 8, 2011


Today was one of those days... personally, I am doing well and am deeply grateful. But all around me I see and hear things that are heart-breaking and hard.

I got not one but two emails today from people who needed help finding a counselor for a sibling in a very difficult and painful marriage.

Another friend from church is facing terminal illness.

A friend of a friend is unexpectedly faced with raising her newborn alone.

Somalia rages with famine and devastation that could be, in large part, avoided.

Meanwhile, this Sunday is the one-year mark of the all-too-early loss of my dear friend Claire.

As I brought each one of these before God, all raw wounds and filled with fear, this was the psalm that I came to - Psalm 46:

1 God is our refuge and strength,

always ready to help in times of trouble.

2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come

and the mountains crumble into the sea.

3 Let the oceans roar and foam.

Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!


4 A river brings joy to the city of our God,

the sacred home of the Most High.

5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.

6 The nations are in chaos,
and their kingdoms crumble!

God’s voice thunders,
and the earth melts!

7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.


8 Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.

9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”

11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;

the God of Israel is our fortress.

As I read over each line, adding my own words and prayers, I remembered that I have mistakenly read verse 10 by itself in the past, not realizing that that particular verse, so peaceful-sounding on its own, is actually just a quiet and firm commandment in the midst of swirling chaos and fright. In it I hear, "KELLY, pull it together! Of course you are overwhelmed. These are far bigger than you are. Quit looking at your circumstances, and look at me instead!"

Then I remembered an equally stunning prayer that I read last night, that had a similar effect on me ~ it put everything in perspective:

Lord, train us to hear your voice. When it is time to grieve, help us to grieve. When it is time to rejoice, help us to rejoice. When we grow weary, be the strength in our weakness. And may your most beautiful and perfect will, not ours, be done. Amen.

I really should not be surprised when there is such agony and distress. This world is horribly broken. This is not how things were meant to be. In spite of all that, I will be still and know that He is God. And that I am not. Rather than try to carry it all on my weak shoulders, I will lay these fears, concerns, questions and pains before the One whose shoulders are far broader and arms are much more able to carry these heavy, heavy loads. Be still.

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