After being on the road for fifty-nine days and exploring over ten-thousand miles of this beautiful country, it took us a while to get back into the routine of what we’d left behind. We have been grateful to catch up with the people we love sharing our lives with. Yet we yearn for the comfortable simplicity of those fifty-nine days of discovery. We miss following the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, who spent two-and-a-half years carving out a pathway for others to follow in the 1800’s. We also miss discovering parts of the old Route 66 that connected towns large and small in an increasingly mobile society in the 1900’s.
As I reflect back on our travels,
it is not just the beauty and diverse landscapes we miss exploring–
we also miss connecting-the-dots of the history across this nation
that was especially gratifying.
Since our return, my husband has remarked numerous times, that the two things we saw most consistently as we camped our way through vast cities and the smallest of towns were, first of all churches and secondly Dollar General (or Family Dollar) stores. The saddest thing we saw were many of those churches appearing abandoned.
Since our return home, the one thing we did not miss during our travels–the daily, sometimes constant pounding of national and international news–has hit us especially hard. We miss the protective bubble that surrounded us as we mostly listened to audio-books. I suppose that is why reading the wisdom of Solomon, brought a chill to my bones several days ago:
“As fish are caught in a cruel net,
or birds are taken in a snare,
so men are trapped by evil times
that fall unexpectedly upon them.”
With every day that passes, the news reports of atrocities inflicted on innocent people fill us with dread. How are we to live as the darkness of evil appears to become increasingly pervasive?
I was grateful for the wisdom of the Scriptures as I reflected on this question:
- Romans 12:19 & 21 directs our steps with, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone . . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
- I John 5: 11, 12 reminds us to love those around us with the light and hope of the Gospel: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in the Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
- Revelation 17:14 affirms the light of our future, when evil will be defeated and cast away forever: “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them (and) with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.”
No matter what is happening in your life or around the world, if you know Christ, be encouraged that:
- You are not alone and
- Because of Christ, you have every reason to be filled with hope.
How are we to access that hope when darkness threatens?
- By making prayer a priority–talking to God rather than just to yourself–when troubling news hits.
- By investing time in searching the Scriptures to maintain a healthy perspective on what is reported in the news as well as what you are personally dealing with.
- By committing to live out what you are gleaning from the Scriptures–there’s nothing better to activate the truth of what God says.
- Finally, be encouraged by the wisdom of Jesus who dispels darkness with the Light of Hope:
“Why do you worry about clothes?
See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these. . . .
But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:28, 29, 33 & 34
All to His Glory!