Mourning, Again.

Psalm 119:28(NIV) – My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

We’ve lost our heroes on the battlefields, during routine training missions, to civilian violence, to accidents, and, yes, far, far too many to the effects of PTS and suicide. The news is once again announcing confirmation that more of our young heroes have been lost. The majority of our general public plods on in their normal routines, not comprehending that our country has suffered another devastating loss. They don’t realize that even mundane daily training can be very dangerous for our service-members. Meanwhile, the families of the U.S. Military Community from all across our nation and world join unseen hands and hearts as we pause once again to mourn, to reflect, and to pray.

I do not know these service-members personally, I do not need to. I’m always overcome with tears of heavy grief. I sob with sorrow as I pray for their families and those who love them. I beg God to allow our servicemen and women to come home safely, from everywhere, every day, every night. I plead for His protection over all of our courageous soldiers. I’m racked with mourning for a child whom I never knew, and yet, know all too well. I feel fresh devastation for the families of those who fought and died by my own soldier’s side, knowing that their pain is unending, and those who have lost their sons in the years that have passed since. A new pain surges within me for these families now in the news, only beginning their walk through this darkest of valleys. May God comfort our Gold Star Families.

Praying daily for our servicemen and women is essential. Oh, how I wish the American public knew just how much our military needs the prayers of each one of us back here at home! They need prayer for their physical safety. They need to be courageous. They need wisdom. They need to be of sound mind. They must remain strong. They have to remain committed and true to their cause. They need to know that their countrymen support and believe in them. They need to be released from daily worry about their families back home. They need to know that they are cherished.

Most of all, they need to know that God loves them! They need God’s many blessings each and every day. Our military leaders, all the way up to the President, need our fervent prayers, as well. Please, pray daily for all of these things. Even if you don’t personally know someone in the military, you can join us in knitting together a prayer blanket of protection and love over each one of them.

May the peace and comfort of God to be with all of us.

Pondering the Waiting

I know that the Lord teaches us life lessons using the little mundane daily things of life as well as the big, challenging, life-altering things. I have recently come to the realization that this past decade of my life has been one long lesson in the Art of Waiting. I suppose I have not yet learned fully whatever I need to learn, because the Waiting continues.

I’ve waited for big things. Enormous things! For over six years I had one or the other of my soldiers deployed. That was a whole lot of waiting, waiting, waiting! I did think that I had gotten pretty good at it at the time.

I waited for other things, too, as I watched my three children grow into adults and start wonderful lives of their own. Waiting for graduations. Waiting for upcoming events like weddings, and waiting for grandchildren to arrive. Waiting years for my children to be able to return home from far away duty stations. Waiting for summer. Waiting through hard times as a family, like when we suffered through our dad’s last days here on earth. Waiting through months of unemployment. And also celebrating joyously, even sometimes through the tears, the many answers to our prayers that always accompanied the various waitings.

Maybe God is just hoping that I will stop getting impatient waiting for the microwave to beep in 30 seconds or my computer to reload after a glitch. I don’t know for sure why, but right now I seem to be entering into another period of Waiting, and that old song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keeps sneaking into my head.

The waiting IS, indeed, the hardest part! Are you waiting for something special? Something big? Something life-changing?

Yes?

ME, TOO!!!

Can we wait patiently, be peaceful, not fret over the potentials – you, know, those “What if” and “To Do” lists that we make in our heads? Especially those stubborn ones that decide that 3 AM is a very good time to appear?

Some days, I think I ‘wait’ very well. You know, I mount up on wings as an eagle and renew my strength and all that good stuff.

Other days, like today, when time seems to stop completely and the microwave never seems to ding, I know I am failing at the Waiting Game; much like Elijah in 1 Kings Chapter 19, when the Lord asks (repeatedly), “What are you doing here?” and Elijah whines and complains to none other than the Lord God Almighty Himself.

Old Jonah was another example. In his case, he refused to do what God had commanded, he ran away, and he eventually sat under a shady plant and moped. And he stayed there wallowing in his self-pity even as the plant withered away and the sun scorched his head. (Jonah Chapter 4)

Sometimes we just need to get up and get busy doing the things we know that we ought to be doing and stop worrying about whatever we think we are waiting for to happen.

So, simply; I need to NOT be whiny, and ask the Lord to grant me a bit more of His calmness, His reassurance that HE is in complete control of my situation and that all I really need to do is stop pacing, stop wondering, stop making up schemes and plans and scenarios that don’t matter one bit, and just breathe!

What am I doing here? Waiting for answers, watching for signs, knowing His timing is perfect, even though it rarely coincides with MY wishes! Understanding that He is in control. Listening to the songs I need to learn for our upcoming Easter services. Moving on with life; not just sitting under the proverbial withered plant, weeping. Praying for peace to reign over my turbulent heart and mind. Trusting that the Wait will be over eventually, and as the old saying goes: “it will be worth the wait!”

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” -Isaiah 40:31 KJV