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They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8

I woke the other morning to a text message: Check BBC. There have been bombings in Brussels.

It was from my husband traveling on business and in a time zone ahead of me.

It included a link to the BBC News web site. I read with horror about two explosions at the international airport and one at the metro station and saw gruesome pictures of bloodied travelers.

I pleaded with my heavenly Father for protection.

Is she safe? I texted to my friend—concerned for her daughter studying on a semester abroad in Brussels.

Only four months earlier, I sat across the table from my friend at Joe’s American Grill. “Has Gabi chosen her placement yet?” I asked excitedly. London had been on the list and I wanted to know if she would be visiting my old stomping ground.

I saw the strain on my friend’s face and fear in her eyes. “Brussels she said. I didn’t know what to say.

Brussels was on lock down that very moment following attacks in Paris.

“You’re more of an international traveler than me,” she continued. “Would you let her go?” She appealed to me—one mother to another.

I had to think long and hard before I answered.

I had lived through IRA terror campaigns and bombings in London. How did my own mother cope with me there? I wondered.

My daughter would be going to Hong Kong in a few months time. Would I let her go, if it were Brussels?

How would an answer of “don’t let her go” affect my friend’s family and her daughter who had set her heart on a European adventure.

This crisis could be resolved in four months time. Or…it could get worse.

Now, with hindsight, I had my answer.

How can we live assured in an uncertain and turbulent world?

How do we become like the tree that does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit?

We find our answer in the words of the previous verse: trust in the Lord and have confidence in him.

Trusting in God during the storm is not easy but it is easier if we practice trusting when our world is tranquil and calm.

We use the quiet, still times in our lives to be nourished and grow strong so when the storm hits we are not uprooted.

 

So what does trust in the Lord and confidence in him look like during an ordinary day?

Psalm 1:3 also uses similar wording to our verse in Jeremiah 17 and in the previous two verses we find out what we need to do and not do so we can stand firm.

Hold onto God’s Word and his promises.

That person delights in the law of the Lord, and meditates on his law day and night.

Chew on Scripture day and night, says The Message.

All very well, but most of us are busy. But, there are simple ways to do this. I have a calendar that contains one Bible verse for each day. I read that verse each morning and it’s a nugget of God’s truth to think about and begin my day. An alternative is Bible Gateway. It has a Verse of the Day on its home page.

We need to weave God’s Word into our day at every opportunity we can.

Psalm 1 also tells us what we should not do when a storm is looming.

Do not hold out on God’s Word and his promises.

That person does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.

Now, I’m not saying we should shun our non-Christian friends. But we don’t think or speak the same as those who do not know God.

We who know God’s mercy should believe in God’s goodness, not question it. We believe God is good, so we do not blame him when bad things to happen. We do not turn our back on our heavenly Father because it looks like he doesn’t care. We know he does care.

But if you do doubt, bring these questions to God in prayer during your still, quiet moments when your world is calm.

Go deep with God so your roots are strong. Then, when the squall or the hurricane comes you can defy its force and stand bold.

Enjoy this companion post where we explore how when our faith tree is strong and flourishing, we can provide covering and sustenance to the people around us.

READ

Use the verses to meditate on God’s promises of protection.  Reading them in context on Bible Gateway may help you go a little deeper.

REFLECT

Which of these promises give you the most confidence in troubled times?

How stable are your roots? Are you going deep with God to keep them strong?

RESPOND

How will you make a commitment to read, listen, and think about God’s words in the Bible?

How does bringing your doubt to God in prayer help you put down roots?

 

Linking up with Susan Mead at #DancewithJesus and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth

  • I’m not a traveler either, but I’d like to be. And you are 100% correct, don’t let fear squash dreams. God is in Brussels, Paris, London, everywhere. And especially, because the Holy Spirit is with us. Unless, you receive a specific warning in your spirit, a dream or a word from someone you trust, take your angels and go.

  • Rachel,
    What great scriptures to read and reflect on in these turbulent times. The suicide bombing in Pakistan was very close to our (Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc) school there in Lahore. These Christians truly know what it means to be persecuted for their faith…but God does not abandon them. If your readers are tired of feeling helpless and want to DO something…may I invite them to join us in supporting Christian schools that are in this troubled part of the world and hotbed of hatred…www.redeemerchristianfoundation.org. Together we can stand up to hatred with the love of Jesus Christ. Claiming 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9. Thanks Rachel…
    Blessings,
    Bev
    Bev

    • Bev, thank you for sharing your heart and the work you are doing in Pakistan. It is true, so often we feel helpless with all the violence and hatred in the world and not knowing what to do. I hope readers will join in Redeemer Christian Foundation’s work. Even help that seems small to us, God can turn into a huge blessing.

  • Thanks for this….I love the verse from Isaiah 26:3″ Those who fix there eyes on Him, he will keep in perfect peace”

    Only by His Grace and tucked under His sovereign wing
    Kim

  • As much as want, we can’t keep all the bad things at bay and can’t protect our kids from everything. Great encouragement to trust – even with our kids, even with their safety. A hard thing to do, but being deeply rooted in Christ is the place to start.

    • Yes, so true Kathryn. When things like this happen it always brings me back to what is the most important things I want my children to know. See more about this in Tuesday’s follow-up post.:-)

  • Yes, yes, yes! And Amen. This is a message near and dear to my heart! No safety is guaranteed in this life. Yet we as believers has an eternal assurance. Thanks for sharing these words today!

  • This piece is so important for someone like me — no need for an updated passport, small life and local interests — to read and absorb. God’s heart breaks for the entire world. Being rooted and grounded in Him as a way of life will not only prepare our hearts for tragedy, but it will also give us a greater ability to pray for the concerns that are near to God’s heart.

  • It comes down to trust. Do we really believe nothing touches us that the Lord does not allow? And if He allows it, will He bring good from it? Yes, I’ve seen the Lord is gracious and He does bring good even from the struggles. Because I’ve seen it in the past, I can stand on it for the future.

    You are so right – get rooted now, before the storms hit.

  • Such good advice, Rachel. We need those roots, but they take time to grow and plenty of trust to nourish them. Thanks for sharing the wise words- so glad they Lord is faithful!!

  • These are wise words. We’ll do best to build up that relationship with God, learning to trust him, in the calm times so that we’re prepared for the times when we need to trust Him in a bigger way. I loved how you said it.
    Thank, once again, for linking with Grace and Truth. You are such a valuable member of our community.

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