I don’t know about you, but recent events in the middle East have reminded me of the fragility of life. The onslaught of brutality against innocents has jolted many of us (again) into the reality of evil’s ugly face. It makes me want to hug my grandkids a little tighter. Connect with friends I haven’t seen in a while. Look for tangible ways to spread a little more kindness.
Scripture’s admonition to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” has never felt more poignant.
Yet in the midst of the calamity, I realize how tragedies sharpen our perspective on what really matters in life. Petty grievances tend to dim as appreciation for our good gifts intensifies. Theologian Dallas Willard writes, in his book Faith that Matters, that much of what we think important turns out not to be, and what we think to be of no importance often bears great significance before God. Maybe current events are calling us to examine our priorities.
Many believe the tragedy in the Middle East indicates we’re living in the “last days.” I saw a meme on social media of a woman peering out a window asking, “What day of Revelation is it today?” But no matter whether the earth exists for five, fifty or five-hundred or more years, the war highlights the truth that anything can happen at any time.
So how do we find security in the midst of such insecurity?
When King David penned Psalm 122, he came from a place of abounding love for the house of God. The world around Israel was hostile, yet David knew that true peace, true security, could only be found in God’s presence. He loved Jerusalem and prayed for her peace because God lived there with his people.
God still lives with his people. And Jesus made a way for his presence to extend far beyond the confines of Israel. God dwells not only with his people but within them by his Holy Spirit. All who love him have access to his incomparable peace. It’s a peace no war or terrorist attack can destroy.
So yes, life is fragile. And we grieve. But we have access to a sovereign God of love whose presence turns the darkest days into something good. Even as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Lord Jesus, please teach how to put our complete trust in you during these difficult days and in the days ahead. Help us shine the light You have given us into the darkness.
Throughout the Day: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the surrounding Middle East. Pray that many would turn to Christ in repentance and that God's glory would be made known.
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