We barely made it!  Our arrival in London was five days past our daughter’s due date and I was really sweating it.  But God was gracious and Madelaine Sophronia patiently delayed her arrival until the morning after Grandma and Grandpa were there and then hurried home to be with us the very same evening.

As we basked in the joy of all our hopes and prayers being fulfilled in the safe delivery of our precious granddaughter by her equally precious mother, Syrian mothers ran with their babies from the bullets and knives of Islamic militants, the sky exploded with the bodies of Russian families returning from holiday, Paris screamed in horror and Beirut wailed in lamentation.

Later, with a mix of separation anxiety and travel trepidation, we boarded our American Airlines flight for home and exhaled an audible sigh of relief as we touched down on terra firma in Charlotte, NC.  Our suitcases were not even unpacked when our happy homecoming was destroyed with news of a mass murder by Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino, California.

Like you, I am angry. I long for swift, retaliatory justice and struggle greatly with the tension of righteous anger and obedience to God’s command to pray for my enemies. I’m inclined to pray the old Irish prayer that goes, “Lord, please turn the hearts of our enemies to love and not hate us – but if You cannot turn their hearts, then turn their ankles, so we’ll know them by their limpin.”

Seriously, I did not realize how deeply I have been affected by this recent wave of unbridled terror until I concluded reading a passage from the book of Isaiah in church on Sunday. As I took my seat, a sense of deep longing completely overcame me.

It’s only natural for us to be saddened, angered and concerned in these uncertain and perilous times but, as we prepare our hearts for the coming celebration of Christ’s birth, let us also, like the young virgin Mary, be pregnant with hope while looking forward to the certain fulfillment of God’s promised peace.

Isaiah 11 foretells a world without violence or hardness of heart where wolves will dwell with lambs; a world for Madelaine and all children to grow-up in where there will be no more hurt or destruction and all the prophecies and promises of Christ’s eternal rule will be fulfilled.

Click here and listen to Chris Tomlin sing Come Thou Long Expected Jesus http://bit.ly/1XWXYf8

This article from the ministry of Ravi Zachariah is a well written response to why people pray in the midst of tragedy.  Click here to read the article:  http://bit.ly/1PSnBPh

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