Fear Sat On My Cushion

Ten years ago this month the Beltway snipers created havoc and terror on the east coast and particularly in Virginia.  The Richmond Times ran a story about the ordeal today in the paper.  I was reminded of the stark fear that perched itself in my comfort zone.  I had written  my thoughts and decided to share them with you today.  Maybe you are dealing with a fearful and uncertain time in your life.  Let God speak peace to your heart today.  Blessings, Pat.

“Your children are not safe anywhere or at any place.”  (Beltway Sniper)

“I can not guarantee your children’s safety.” (Chief Moose)

Suddenly fear struck home.  I had been following the sniper’s reign of terror but it was up there, at least 90 minutes north of where we live.  Suddenly it was 40 minutes away in Ashland and then 25 minutes at a phone booth in Richmond.  As people began to talk I realized how close to home it really was; a youth girl from church was in Ashland and caught in the traffic jam on I-95, a customer was in the first car that the police stopped in front of the Ponderosa Steakhouse, an employee had eaten at the Cracker Barrel beside the steakhouse and had left just two minutes prior to the shooting.  These are people I know.  Terror was invading my comfort zone.

Fear took a grip.  I needed to go get groceries the following evening at our local Food Lion.  But the fear of “uncertainty” weighed heavier on the scale than “reality” that the sniper was striking close to major highways and intersections.  Just to be safe, I assured myself, I would stay home.  We wanted to attend a trade show in the Washington suburbs but just to be safe, we assured ourselves, we would stay home.

Why do bad things/circumstances happen?

Why do evil men reign?

Why does God allow injustice and suffering to happen to innocent people?

Habakkuk questioned “why” to the same questions.  Take a few minutes and read the short book of Habakkuk in the Old Testament.  It was a very difficult time in Judah’s history.  God answered Habakkuk’s cry with the most unlikely of answers.  “Look….watch-be utterly astounded!  For I will work a work in your days which you will not believe.” (Habakkuk 1:5)  God said a fierce and nasty nation was going to come against Judah, a time of great judgment. God said, “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the “just would live by HIS faith” (Habakkuk 2:4), and that “the Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him.”  Habakkuk fell on his knees and at the end of his prayer his body was trembling and shaking.  His lips were quivering and he sang a tremendous hymn of faith…

              “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vine; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stall….Yet I WILL rejoice in the Lord. I WILL joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength….”(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

My faith and trust in God is not based on the circumstances around me. I don’t know why the sniper was allowed his reign of terror.  There was one lone voice amidst all the noise and clamor from the wife of the man shot in Ashland.  She said, “Pray for the sniper.”  It is obvious the two previously unknown snipers do not know our loving God.  Now that we have gotten acquainted, let us pray for the salvation of these two men.  Maybe, just maybe, God will be able to work in the midst of a most unlikely situation.

October 27, 2002

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