This week has been emotionally taxing for much of the world. It seemed as though every day brought a new tragedy, which ushered in a new wave of sadness and grief.
In times such as this, it can be easy to give way to doubts, despair, and worries. It can be difficult to come up for air and recognize simple, small blessings. Gosh, it can be difficult to find God Himself in the midst of the tragedies we are witnessing – or, perhaps personally experiencing.
This week, as I surveyed the news and grieved with, and for, families impacted by violence in this world, I felt a gentle tug on my soul.
The words, We know who wins, entered my thoughts.
Many people may ask, “Where is God,” or, “Why does God let this happen?”
I would reply God is present, and in the midst of the pain and suffering.
Echoing the words of Mr. Rogers, God is in the helpers…
He is in the hearts of those in pain…
He’s with those experiencing their tragedies…
He’s there – experiencing it in real-time, with us…
He’s there, ready to comfort us if we turn to Him.
The second question is more difficult to answer, simply because…
…sometimes, the best answer is no answer at all.
Just an acknowledgment of the pain, a cry with the person experiencing pain, or a shoulder to offer… those can sometimes be answer enough.
Other times, we must acknowledge God has a foe – hell-bent, literally, on bringing man down… Satan, the devil, Lucifer, Prince of Darkness… take your pick on his name. Satan is determined to stop. at. nothing to try to accomplish his mission. He will use any means necessary – from terrorism, to drug use, to child abuse. He will use the lure of power, sex, and money. Literally, the lead demon will stop at nothing to try to get us to stop acknowledging God. He will ratchet up instances where we are fearful, anxious, and worried, in the hopes we will turn from the One who will ultimately prevail against Him…
Satan will use darkness and secrecy to make us doubt the existence, and even the mere power, of his foe… Our Almighty God.
Therefore, this week, I am most grateful for the gift of hope…
Hope in a better future, hope that love will conquer all, and hope in the belief and knowledge that we know who wins this war. At times, it may feel as though Satan, formidable foe that he is, is winning the battle; but, we know who wins the war.
And, there is comfort in knowing God wins.
So, as I round out my first post for The Gratitude Project, which I promise will not always be so heavy, I encourage all of us to shine the light of our lives into the darkness we find in our pathways.
And, take a moment and place (or, replace) our trust, faith, and hope in the One who Was, Who Is, and Who Shall Be… Forever. Our Lord, God. Father of us all.
Finally, if you are so inclined, please join me in reciting the beautiful prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel:
St. Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in battle,
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
cast into Hell, Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls.
As always, let me know in the comments – what are you grateful for this week? And, feel free to follow along with this project on social media, using the hashtag #bctgp, and letting me know throughout the week as you identify a blessing for which you are grateful!
Until next week, dear reader…