Have you turned on the news lately? Stories of crime, political upheaval and war fill the television screen. It is a nightly reminder of the tumultuous world we live in.
Sometimes that tumult is found within our own lives. We might suffer from a job loss, health concerns, worries about a wayward child, difficulties in our marriage or financial challenges.
When storms rage in my own life, I think of the lyrics to the hymn "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" by Emma Lou Thayne.
"Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?"
I've learned that it is possible to find peace in a troubled world if we turn to God. Let me share a few thoughts that bring me peace.
Good will triumph over evil
In the fight between good and evil, Satan might win a few battles, but rest assured, God will win the war. Have you ever noticed how after an act of evil, a flood of goodness follows? When terrorists hit the twin towers on 9/11, firemen and police rushed into the buildings, risking their lives to save others. After the shootings in Connecticut, people reached out to the victims' families and performed random acts of kindness to honor them.
A friend of mine was brutally raped at gunpoint. He threatened her life and the life of her daughter if she went to the police. She ignored his demand to "shut up." Because she chose to speak out, her perpetrator was arrested and confessed to the crime. He will serve more than 30 years in prison.
Marie's courage is an inspiration to others, especially those who find themselves in similar circumstances. The outpouring of love and support from her family and friends is a testimony to the capacity for good in the world.
God will send comfort and inspiration
We may sometimes feel alone. Family, friends and society may forsake us, but God never will. He sends comfort and inspiration to help us through difficult times. It is always around us if we know how to look.
You may feel warmth and comfort as you pray and plead for help. You might find the words of a particular song or hymn have special meaning to you. Perhaps a line from scripture or a book you are reading has an impact. You might notice light suddenly breaking from a cloud or a rainbow spanning the sky. For me, it is seeing a hawk soar high above me. It reminds me that God has great things in store for me, that he created me to soar as well.
God will compensate
Life isn't fair. Do you remember your mom telling you that? Perhaps you've learned the truth of that statement the hard way. However, God will compensate for all injustices. You might be faced with health challenges, but you find great joy in your loving, healthy, happy family. You might lose a well-paying job only to discover a more rewarding opportunity that becomes available.
The ultimate compensation will come not in this life but in the next. God will reward your faithfulness with unimaginable blessings. Those who have seemed to "get away with it" in this life will finally reap the consequences of their actions.
During times of distress, well-meaning friends might tell you, "I understand how you feel." Their words are an expression of love, but no one can really know exactly what you are going through.
However, God knows. He knows the deepest thoughts and feelings of your heart. He aches with you in your dark moments, even though he knows that he has better things planned for you in the future. When no one else in the world understands, he does.
I recall a time when I was struggling with depression. I remember thinking that no one fully understood what I was feeling. I felt a great sense of loneliness. Then the simple thought came to my mind: "I know." I realized that God did know exactly the depth of my sorrow. It lifted me. I have never felt alone in my sufferings since.
The storms of life will continue to rage, but I know that we can find peace if we turn to God.