As my sister and I drove to and from our family reunion in Louisiana we noticed how very much we depended on our Iphones to direct us. Siri (Apple's intelligent personal assistant) kept us going in the right direction, navigated us around traffic jams and construction, gave us weather reports and any other information we desired along the way. We wondered how in the world our parents managed our yearly Louisiana road trips without Siri. That they had to depend solely on road signs and maps practically put them in league with the first settlers who came out west! Ha!
Seriously though, having Siri serve as our GPS for our trip down south was a blessing. Siri never steered us in the wrong direction, she was always spot on, completely reliable and trustworthy.
Being the diehard church lady that I am, of course I was drawing correlations between the ways we faithfully followed Siri and how much easier our life would be if we followed Christ that way. There were many times on the trip when we turned to Siri to get our bearings in a storm, in the dark, out in the middle of seemingly no-where with miles of desert stretching out to the horizon. Siri's voice broke through the unease, the sometimes sense of lostness reassuring us, orienting us; God is like. Each time I turn towards God his Spirit brings relief, brings peace, and I had opportunity to experience it on this trip.
As we drove down to Louisiana we heard news of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, and on the drive home we were stunned to hear of the horrific fires in Santa Rosa and I got word of the loss of two dear friends (not directly by the fire but after being moved from a hospital and care facility); and of 50 friends who totally lost their homes. My heart was breaking for these dear friends, memories flooding me of visiting with them in homes that now were nothing but heaps of ashes. Both the tragedies of Las Vegas and Santa Rosa the reality that the joy of a concert, the tranquility of beautiful Sonoma County can be changed in a moment to chaos and loss. In this world that can be so heartbreakingly hard, that can make us feel lost in a dark desert it can be hard to know where to go. Turning to God orients us. It gives us ground to stand on. The only direction to go in whatever disorienting circumstance we find ourselves is to God.
As my sister drove across the miles with my heart heavy for those who lost loved ones in Las Vegas and my friends in Santa Rosa I pulled out God's word and read, we prayed and remembered stories from scripture of people like Job, David, Paul and many others who faced evil, who weathered challenging times and who found that indeed God is faithful, God is reliable, he is trustworthy and loves in the midst of whatever the world hurls our way.
For all of us who follow Christ, who trust that God is with us by his Spirit we can say no matter what: it is well with my soul".
Yours in Christ,