Gary, Dylan, and I are in Chicago today and tomorrow, visiting our daughter (and sister) Allison while she's here working with Easter Seals for an internship this semester. We checked in at our hotel and then rode the Blue Line train to the Loop. We met Allison at the Willis Tower and saw where she works, then took the elevator up to the SkyDeck. The view was incredible. We tried to time it so we could see the city in daylight and also after the sun set. So cool to see the city light up as the sun went down. We went out on the ledge on the west side of the building and got a dizzying view of the street below. When we'd finally had our fill, we got in line to ride the elevator back down 103 floors. While in line, I checked my phone and found this text from Erin:
i'm safe. Just so you know. Scared. But fine. Girls were supposed to go to Paris tomorrow but i think not going. Obviously. i love you
This is not the text you want to receive from a child working for a semester in Germany. As a parent, your mind automatically goes to all sorts of possibilities for what could be wrong. From her text, it was obvious that something major had happened, but we had no idea what it was. This began a few minutes of frantic searches on our cell phones and we read about the attacks in Paris.
It was terrible to hear about all of the violence, but also a relief to know that she hadn't been in immediate danger. In today's world, I suppose everyone's minds go to 9/11 and you wonder what may happen before it's all over.
I guess that's why I decided to focus on "fear" this Friday. Aside from a few moments of fear right after her text, I can't say that this incident caused me to experience much fear, but I am very aware that there are probably millions of people who are experiencing lots of fear as they watch what is happening in Paris. Some are afraid because they have lived through this and have to deal with the emotions and grief they feel. Others may feel fear because these events have reminded them of the uncertainties of life and the reminder that we never know what might happen to us or to those we love.
We can't help but feel fear at times, but we don't have to live afraid. There is a wonderful God that is above all evil in this world. We don't know why He allows things like this to happen, but we know that He cares and understands all of our emotions. He loves us and wants us to trust Him even though we don't know what may happen to us in the future.
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship." (Romans 8:15 NIV)
Do you feel lots of fear as you look at the world around you? How can focusing on God help you to stop being a slave to fear and trust Him instead?