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Trusting God in the evil of the world

My heart has been so heavy as I see the news of women being raped and children being beheaded.  Photos of the violence tells a story that many don’t want to have to think about.  People with guns to their backs and their heads is hard to look at.  I saw a photo of the smoking guns that were fired in an act of evil on Facebook.

This violence is happening and yet so many are not even aware of it and if they are they seem to say nothing about it.  We get upset, we mourn and we share the tragic stories of celebrities.  We are quick to hit the share button, the favorite button and the re-tweet button when a celebrity speaks.  I saw a post last night about people being mad at Rosanne Barr for making a tweet about Robin Williams actually being alive.  She used the death of an amazing actor as a joke for her gain and people were outraged.  I think they should be. It is not a joke. A man died and that should never be taken lightly.  For that matter the deaths of those by the ISIS group should not be taken lightly either but it seems to be getting sweep under the rug.  Rosanne made an out of line remark in regards to Robin Williams and it hits the social media sites.  People got fired up about it. Yet, hundreds of people are raped, shot, and beheaded and we seem to accept it like that is just part of life.  Among these people are children. Innocent children and we hear very little about it.

Why is it that we can so easily accept the fact that someone can be killed for his or her religious beliefs?

I have been praying for those who are faced with persecution. I have been praying the God would supernaturally take the pain away that they are facing. That He would give them strength that only He can give as they face the evil acts of violence.  I pray the God is would catch the tears of the women who are raped and that He would comfort the parents who mourn the loss of their children.

In my humanness it is easy to question God.  I know I should not question because God because He is in control but it is hard not to. Thankfully God knows I will fall short from time to time.  Why? I ask Him.  Why is this happening to people who put their faith in you?  Why are you letting this happen God?  I pray that they are given a special crown when they enter the gates of heaven.  I pray for the violence to stop. I pray that people would get fed up and say something.  I pray that our Government would do more.  I pray and I seek for answers as to why evil happens.

Today I choose to open my bible and read whatever page I landed on. Habakkuk 3 was where I landed.  It is a prayer by Habakkuk the prophet and something I have never read before.  God never stops amazing me.  Here I am after days of praying and questioning and all I had to do was open the bible and let it speak to my heart.

Lord, I have heard of your fame; 
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. 
Repeat them in our day, 
in our time make them known; 
 in wrath remember mercy.

God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens
 and his praise filled the earth.

His splendor was like the sunrise; 
rays flashed from his hand,
 where his power was hidden. 

Plague went before him;
 pestilence followed his steps.

He stood, and shook the earth;
 he looked, and made the nations tremble.
 The ancient mountains crumbled
 and the age-old hills collapsed—
 but he marches on forever. 

I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
 the dwellings of Midian in anguish.

Were you angry with the rivers, Lord?
 Was your wrath against the streams?
 Did you rage against the sea
 when you rode your horses
 and your chariots to victory?

You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows.
 You split the earth with rivers;

The mountains saw you and writhed.
 Torrents of water swept by;
 the deep roared
 and lifted its waves on high 

Sun and moon stood still in the heavens
 at the glint of your flying arrows,
 at the lightning of your flashing spear 

In wrath you strode through the earth
 and in anger you threshed the nations. 

You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one.
You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness,
 you stripped him from head to foot.

With his own spear you pierced his head
 when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,
 gloating as though about to devour
 the wretched who were in hiding.

You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.

I heard and my heart pounded, 
my lips quivered at the sound;
 decay crept into my bones, 
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.

Though the fig tree does not bud
 and there are no grapes on the vines,
 though the olive crop fails 
and the fields produce no food, 
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
 he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
 he enables me to tread on the heights.  (NIV)

Habakkuk’s prayer was praising God for answering his questions. God showed him that evil wouldn’t triumph forever. God is in control and this reminded me that we can always trust Him to vindicate those who are faithful to him. God will ratify the evil that his people have faced. I believe that God will give those who suffer because of their belief in Christ the strength to make it through the difficult times. I am not saying I can accept what is happening to them as okay, I am just saying I believe that God is with them.

The notes in my NIV study bible said this: “God will give his followers surefooted confidence through difficult times.  They will run like deer across rough and dangerous terrain.  At the proper time, God will bring about His justice and completely rid the world of evil.  In the mean time, God’s people need to live in the strength of his spirit, confident in His ultimate victory over the world”.   It also said, “Habakkuk saw his own limitations in contrast to God’s unlimited control of all the world’s event.  God is alive and in control of the world and it’s events.  We cannot see all that God is doing, and we cannot see all that God will do.  But we can be assured that he is God and will do what is right. Knowing this can give us confidence and hope in a confusing world”. (NIV Life Application bible, Page 1479)

That was just what I needed today as I tried to wrap my mind around the evil that is happening. My heart still breaks that society and social media has such a skewed idea of what is really important. I will continue to pray that what breaks God’s heart would break the heart’s of people too. I will pray that more people will speak out against evil and I will trust with all my heart that God is in control. I will trust that God will vindicate those that were harmed by evil.  That He will ratify the wrong.  In God’s perfect timing He will have victory over evil.

I WILL TRUST GOD IN THE EVIL OF THIS WORLD.

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They are still my babies

22 and 19 are the ages of my kids. Adults yes but in my heart they are still my babies. Just recently my daughter and I headed to Texas to work a Young Lives camp for teen moms. We were on the childcare crew and assigned to the 6-7 month old babies. Watching my 19-year-old daughter take care of those babies made me so proud and it filled me excitement as I thought of her being a mom herself someday.

1402663930001-BertramTornado-ShaneMeister

Tornado near Bertram Texas on June 12. Photo by Shane Meister

As the week came to an end a storm rolled in and we found ourselves under a tornado watch that would soon turn into a warning. The camp where we were staying at did not have underground shelter. As the storm grew we were moved to an interior room of the building with the babies that were in our care. Others found themselves in bathrooms of the buildings where they were caring for the babies. One large bathroom held about 20 people.

This Washington state girl is not accustomed to tornadoes and to be honest it is one of my biggest fears. As we I stood in that little room with a sweet baby girl in a front pack I became a mess of emotions. Across the room was my daughter holding a baby in her arms. The “what if’s” were screaming in my head…What if a tornado actually touches down, should I tell her I love her just in case? What if it touches down do I protect the baby in my arms or my baby? She may be an adult but she was still my baby girl.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 5.35.26 AMTears began to well up in my eyes and as I moved across the room to stand by my daughter. I wanted desperately to reach out and hug her tight, to protect her from whatever was going on outside that little room we found ourselves in. She is not one to be afraid of a lot things and she started to tease me for being scared. What she did not understand was I was not scared in the way she thought. I was scared because it hit me that my little girl was an adult and she would lay down her life to protect the baby in her arms if needed. I to would lay down my life to protect the baby in my arms also and it was tearing into my heart that I felt that I had to choose the baby in my arms over my own baby.

I started to feel my legs shake as I held in my tears and the resisted the desire to try to hold her like she was a little girl again. Momma bear was a mess. Fear was winning and I to get a grip. I said out loud, “There is not fear in God”. Than, I simply said, “Jesus” a few times and peace began to come to me. I followed that up with “God I trust you in this”. Fear loosened its grip and peace took over. In a silent prayer I asked God to protect my baby. I told him I trusted him to take care of my baby so that I could be ready to take care of the baby in my arms if needed.

I grabbed my phone to listen to worship music but the room was too loud to hear it so we began to sing worship music ourselves. They say the center of the storm is the calmest place to be. As we waited that storm out I can say without a doubt that when you let God be the center of your storm you to will find yourself in the most peaceful place. We were off-key when we sang but I know that to God we made a beautiful noise as we worshiped him and trusted him. A tornado did touch down about 25 miles from us and a home was ripped off its foundation with the family in it.

I have always been one to pray and trust God but in that moment I saw the importance of it in one of the most concrete ways ever. If you are a parent I cannot stress enough the importance of prayer for you child no matter how old they are. They will always be your babies so never stop praying for them. If you are going through your own storm as a parent trust that God will be the calmness in the storm. Praise him in your storm and trust him with your babies no matter how old they are.

To see the story of the family who gives God the credit for keeping them safe in that real life Wizard of OZ moment so close to where we were the night of June 12, 2014 click here. http://www.kvue.com/story/news/local/2014/06/13/tornado-carries-home-with-family-inside/10499773/

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Trust

Anna Dietzen Head ShotGuest Post: by Anna Dietzen, author of the blog “The Unexpected Journey”

Anna Dietzen is your typical twenty-something wife and mama, trying to navigate her way through cheerios and diapers, all while trying to make the most of everyday. A graduate of Biola University with a degree in Communication Studies, Anna worked the corporate America scene for 5 years before deciding to stay home with her two boys, Parker & Lane. She has taken her love of writing and experience of raising two boys with special needs and documented their journey on her blog The Unexpected Journey. While each day has it’s own challenges and this unexpected path is tough, Anna finds the life lessons in these experiences and tries to give others a glimpse into the reality and beauty of having children with special needs.

Trust……..

It’s such an interesting word. Trust requires vulnerability, abandonment to self, action, reliance, confidence, faith and so many other things.

It really requires us to believe that the other person, or thing has our best interest at heart.

One of my dearest friends and I were talking about this the other day. We were talking about what it really means to trust God. I know that I should trust God and I do believe He has my best interest at heart, but do I really trust Him?

With EVERYTHING?

This question has really stuck with me over the past few weeks and I’ve wrestled with what this looks like in my life.

Up until a few years ago, everything in my life had gone pretty well. I’d had my times of struggle, but nothing really too detrimental or life changing. I went to college, met my husband, got married, and started a family. Everything went according to what I had imagined my life to be. It was easy to trust God and believe that he had my best interests at heart, because all of the desires of my heart had come true.

That is, until the first diagnosis.899

At 7 months, our first born son Parker was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Joubert Syndrome. Joubert Syndrome is characterized by the underdevelopment of the cerebellum and brain stem and generally causes decreased muscle tone, difficulties with coordination, abnormal eye movements, abnormal breathing pattern and cognitive impairment.

Trying to work through what it means to have your child face all of these unexpected difficulties is almost unimaginable. To trust that God was really looking out for us, and looking out for Parker was really hard to believe at first. But then Parker would look at us and smile and it was as if God was speaking directly to us saying “I love you…it’s going to be okay”.

839And that has proven to be true. We face our challenges everyday, and this special needs journey has not been easy, but the love and desperation we have felt for God through this all has helped our hearts heal and recover.

And then we received the second diagnosis.

We got pregnant again in January of 2012 and we were scared. Excited but scared. Every pregnancy has a 25% chance of having Joubert Syndrome and we knew that this baby could also be affected. But we went in fully trusting God with this baby and trusting that He would give us a healthy baby. We had numerous ultrasounds and tests and everything showed that this baby was healthy and his brain was fully formed. We were cautiously optimistic as we knew there was still a small chance they could be wrong, but were hopeful that the doctors were right.

After Lane was born, he seemed to be developing on time until about 5 or 6 months. At that time we noticed he was falling a bit behind and didn’t seem as far along as most kids his age. At 10 months, Lane went in for his MRI and we got the diagnosis that he too had Joubert Syndrome.IMG_4506

I really struggled with this diagnosis. Not because he had Joubert Syndrome, but why God would allow the uncertainty for so long. We trusted Him, and it felt like he completely took that away. We did all the necessary prenatal testing and talked to doctors after he was born and everyone assured us he was fine. But then to find out 10 months later that was all wrong.

Was it worth trusting God when it felt like he didn’t hear us? When it felt like he didn’t care?

It was during a run one day that I realized my mentality about trust was all wrong. I only trusted when things would go my way. I only trusted when it wasn’t risky, wouldn’t be messy, and wouldn’t require me to give up too much control. And I realized that what I was doing wasn’t really trusting at all.

I’ve learned that trust is a process, it’s a relationship, and it’s built over time. It’s built through my quiet times, through my prayers, my relationships with other, and it’s built through truly letting go of control.

IMG_2796I’ve learned that trusting God doesn’t mean that I am going to get what I want, but rather what He wants and what He wants to do through me.

Through parenting two beautiful and precious boys with special needs, I have had to trust and rely on God more than ever in my life. I could have never imagined that when I “trusted” Jesus with my life and pregnancy that it would mean special needs, but it has been the greatest gift I could have ever imagined.

And by sharing those fears, those unmet expectations, and growing in my maturity and faith in God, I have come to see that trusting means giving God 100% control and forming my heart to look more like His.

Had things gone the way I wanted, or expected, I would never be the person I am today or have the relationship with God that I do now.

And really, that is all that matters anyways.

Plus I get the bonus of being the mother to Parker and Lane who have touched more lives than I could have ever Dietzen012imagined and I am humbled to watch God work through their lives every single day.

Trusting God is more than a word, it’s a way of life and requires my complete surrender…

Every. Single. Day.

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