So, how can I reconcile the wonderful and terrible things that happened this week?

(“So?” you ask. “Is that a proper way to open a conversation?” Maybe so. My grandchildren always answer a question with “So— ,” as if they’re continuing a conversation already begun, which, in a sense, this is.)
So how can I reconcile the contrasts of emotion I felt about the wonderful and terrible things that happened this week?

In South Carolina it’s springtime, with balmy evenings, pleasant meals, conversation with dear friends about important things, my yard a kaleidoscope of camellias and azaleas blooming exuberantly.

But it’s been a week of horror, too, in our town. A twelve-year-old boy shot and killed a schoolmate. All over the country families struggled to buy food and pay rent because of uncontrolled inflation. A new strain of covid heightened our discomfort. Across the world, more than 82 million people have been forced to flee their homes. And this week, the specter of nuclear war seemed to loom closer than ever before.

That’s why I was so comforted this morning to read the unmistakably clear and certain promise of our Holy and Loving Heavenly Father:

The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms.
Deuteronomy 33:27

Our God is eternal, the Creator of this world and sovereign king over every being. This God is our God, and it is His firm intention to rescue us from all harm. We do not have to be afraid, even in real and frightening danger.

Because of the things that happened this week, I woke up this morning fearful of the challenges ahead today. But after I listened to God’s Word, and took it to heart, I quietly laid my burdens down at His feet, and snuggled into the comfort of His everlasting arms. The rest of the day I have been singing a song I learned in childhood:

This is my Father’s world, And to my listening ears
        All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
        Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—His hand the wonders wrought. . . .

This is my Father’s world: Oh, let me never forget
        That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world. The battle is not done:
        Jesus who died shall be satisfied, And earth and Heaven be one!

We live in perplexing times. Thank God, He really is in charge. The battle is not done. One day we will see the Lord Jesus in all His glory, and we will be forever with the One who loved us so much He gave His life for our redemption!

A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford