by Beth Bondurant
During a recent news story about the devastating tornadoes in St. Louis...
we saw the stunned face of one of the survivors declare ...."in just seconds, I lost everything".

In the blink of an eye... life can totally change.

We have seen it... we have experienced it... we have prayed fervently about it.

We don't understand it.  We haven't figured out the why.  We question the validity.

Power and control are not always in our hands, our hearts, our minds, our spirits.

We are like a speck of dust... blown about by the winds of time.

Yet we are assured ... God knows even when a sparrow falls.

Today... in just seconds... we will again see life move in mysterious ways.

We may have to hold on for dear life.

We may have to let go... to allow hope for others.

We may have to trust fully in God's strength.

We may have to use every once of energy we can muster to keep on going.

O God, life can be almost too much to bear.  Trial after trial after tribulation seems to keep coming in relentless force and we tremble in our weakness... doubt and fear.  Forgive us for giving up... yet it is sometimes in our giving up that we understand the meaning of faith.  Forgive us in our anger and judgment... yet sometimes this shows our deep hurt and concern and leads us to passion.  Forgive us when we live in the darkness... but sometimes it is in the dark that we can also perceive the light.  We pray for hope... for peace... for healing... for reconciliation... not only in our lives...but in all creation.  We do know and believe you are our God and the One who loves us the most. We know that it takes time... and much commitment to bring order out of chaos.  We are ready to be made whole again... to breathe in your peace. In God's love we are renewed ... repaired... restored... rejuvenated... "through the valley of the shadow of death"... in just seconds.