On Saturday morning as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw a #prayforparis picture uploaded by Jenni from Styling Curvy. A quick scan on news.com.au and I got the devastating news of the terror attacks in Paris. The city of love and lights was hit by evil. Again.
Immediately I thought of a friend and her husband who had been celebrating their 10 year wedding anniversary in Paris. They have 4 beautiful daughters under the age of 6 and I connected with the mum in our church’s parent room during a Sisterhood morning. I immediately went to their Facebook page to check that they were safe, and they were. They had left Paris the morning of the attacks. Thank God.
But others, living their normal lives weren’t so lucky. The reports of how the hostages were killed at the Bataclan are horrific and heartbreaking.
And then we hear more attacks happening in Beirut, the refugee crisis in the Middle East is still a mess – with families starving because of lack of supplies. We hear natural disasters in Japan and poverty in Africa – the needs of the world are numerous and honestly we have to think what kind of world do we live in?
The world is becoming a scary place to live and I can’t help but fear what type of world I brought my girls into.
But after some prayer and meditation I was brought to this verse:
“Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a place of refuge for their children” Proverbs 14:26. (New Living Version)
Despite our beliefs, we are not immune to difficulties or tragedies. But if we know why we were brought into being and that God has a plan for our lives beyond death, what can we possibly be fearful of?
While Jacob and I played a major part in bringing our girls into the world, it was God who brought them into existence and only he knows when they will breathe their last breath.
I have faith that our children are here because God ordained them to be in the world for a time such as this. We all have a part to play in teaching our children how to love, promote peace and offer grace in times of hate and evil.
I just read this post by Charlie Hebdo cartoonist requesting people not to #prayforparis because Paris doesn’t need more religion. I agree. We don’t need more religion, we need God. More of God and less religious ritual. We need a relationship with God and the sooner people understand the difference between a relationship with God and religion, the more peace we will have in our soul as we go about living our daily lives.
Never underestimate the power of prayer. Jesus prayed while he was on Earth despite being God’s son. If God’s son needed to pray to do the work he was called to do, how much more so do we need to pray to get wisdom and understanding on how to respond to the tragedy that occurred in Paris and the tragedies that are happening around the world?
My response to what happened on the weekend: I choose not to be scared of the future world my girls will live in, and instead live by example on how to live purposefully and joyfully. To love God and people so that my girls know how to live peacefully and confidently in a world that is gripped by fear and acts of violence.
Don’t stop praying for peace in the world, for the events that happened in Paris, for the refugee crisis in the Middle East, for the devastation caused by natural disasters. Each tragedy needs our prayers and rather than get technical about choosing ‘not to pray for Paris’ because Paris isn’t the only city hurting, remember the hashtag has become a catalyst for other issues in the world that have been brought to light.
‘When the world pushes you to your knees, you’re in the perfect position to pray. ‘
Has world events made you fearful about the world your children live in? How do you handle your fears and worries?