Five Minute Friday: Place

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

“…you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

– Matthew 24:6-8 (NKJV)

See that you are not troubled.

How, Jesus? How do we erase the feeling of trepidation as leaders in Pyongyang and Washington, D.C., continue to breathe fire at each other, uncaring who is singed in the process? We pray, but the fear remains.

God, forgive us in our frail, simple humanity.

As usual, linking up with Kate and all. We seek: place.

Go.

I can’t remember a time without war.

Operation Desert Storm happened when I was in Kindergarten and first grade. Clinton authorized the bombing of Kosovo during middle school. The planes crashed and the towers fell at the start of my senior year of high school. Now I watch the news with an anxious knot in my chest, wondering if we’re really about to go along with Kim Jong-un and reignite the Korean War, a war that never really ended, a war that accomplished nothing. A war that will inevitably escalate until the nations gather once again to slaughter each other across continents.

One set of human beings seeking to strip the other of their humanity.

Will the government reinstate the draft? My husband only has two-and-a-half more years before he is free of being enlisted against his will.

Why should more people die? People caught in the crossfire, people who will suffer because of inflated egos and short tempers.

Gaily, recklessly, arrogantly marching off to war. Just as so many before.

Mothers and fathers, widows and widowers, sons and daughters – left to mourn.

To what end?

No end. Evil is never satiated. Violence is a great, gaping, black mouth, ever-hungry for more victims. It is the mouth of the Devil, that ancient father of lies.

I don’t understand this place, this world. I preach the grace of the Gospel, the solidness of God’s presence. I seek to be a minister of peace. Of reconciliation. My quiet voice – can it, does it make a difference in this place of noise and chaos and boiling blood?

God promises that He will finish what He started. The words He speaks fall to the ground, taking root in the fertile soil of hearts responsive to mercy. A great harvest will result. Nothing returns to Him void. His plans are not thwarted by missiles, His purposes not wrecked by tirades.

That – I must hold to in this place. Though fear pounds in my chest and frustration runs through my mind. He is good and pure and true.

So I, and you with me, must speak the words of truth in this place until we arrive at the other Place, where war and sin are no more.

Stop.

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Photo credit: Thomas Tucker
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22 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Place

  1. Sigh… I can’t even watch the news these days. It saddens me and frustrates me and scares the living crap out of me.
    I’ll remember the day 9/11 happened the rest of my life. I was in 3rd grade and was terrified because my Nana was supposed to be leaving for NY on a business trip that morning. (I later found out my grandma called the school requesting they NOT relay the news of the attacks to me, for she feared I would freak out. My PE teacher didn’t get the memo, so I spent the whole day so scared. My anxiety issues began on that day).

    I’m thankful we can claim to the truth that this place isn’t our home, I just wish we didn’t have to blow each other up to be reminded of this.

    Love to you, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How I wish that, too. Ongoing and escalating violence is a sure sign that humanity needs Christ.

      I will always remember 9/11. I was in the middle of getting ready for school. I think my brother was eating breakfast. The news flashed on the television and it was just so hard to believe.

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  2. Marie, I expect you know that you had me at the heading picture! The beloved (yes) tools of my trade.

    As a trained practitioner of what can only be described as extreme violence, I’m not sure what I can say, here.

    Well, this. I never fought in the macro. What I did was first to protect the guys around me, and second to make sure that the innocents could see another dawn, and live a day without fear. Their opponents were far past talking, so we went in to give sharp and pointed lectures.

    A lot of guys I knew are still there. I have to believe that they died for something.

    The problem is not what happens at the upper levels; it’s what happens when the hearts of ordinary and fallible people are infected by the evil of prejudice orthe fear of retribution. With either of those, they’ll do anything.

    And they simply have to be stopped, to death-rolls that despair the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I love you, brother, and I do respect that you and others have done what you feel is right and best. These days I just really find myself aching more and more for the return of our Lord, so all this chaos can end.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree–these days are troubling. But they are drawing me closer to God in prayer. Good to know that many Christians are joining together in prayer for our country. I’m #40 this week at #fmf.

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  4. Was glad to see that what you wrote is exactly what resonates in my heart, soul and very being! I, too, don’t understand this world. I am married to a veteran of another war that “didn’t make sense or have a purpose” – Vietnam. He suffers from PTSD already although he keeps it well hidden from public view. 9/11 in 2001 was MY 51st birthday- so much for celebrating! I KNOW the truth and claim it right here, right now! I am continuing to pray for the Lord to calm the “storm” in both our President and Kim Jong Un as only HE can! Love you bunches!

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    1. I pray in agreement with you, dear Aunt Lenore. I am asking our good God to pour out wisdom upon those who may not even have sense to seek it. I don’t want others to suffer, especially those who, like Uncle John, will have to live with the experience for years and years.

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  5. Marie,
    oh my dear tender-hearted friend, if God stirs you, then yes! Speak! You will reach the ones He desires to speak to. Don’t worry about the ones not listening. He will work through other people to influence them.
    And, though Satan intends this for evil, God will work it to His glory that people will be saved. He cares about the one when we see the ninety-nine.
    And, if you want a distraction, listen to Mercy Me’s “Even if” right now. That one is soothing me and getting my eyes back on Him every time.
    Love,
    Tammy
    (#52 this week)

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    1. Thanks for the song suggestion! I love MercyMe.

      “…though Satan intends this for evil, God will work it to His glory that people will be saved. He cares about the one when we see the ninety-nine.”

      A strong and much-needed reminder, dear sister. God can and will work in spite of our fumbling. May someone come to Him because of this growing fear.

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  6. I agree, it is really troubling to look at the state of the world. We have to keep speaking peace and holding to the truth that God is still ultimately in charge.

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  7. Amen! I can barely watch the news as it is so awful…the stories of war etc. My heart can only handle so much. I’m in the 62 spot this week.

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  8. Sobering, anxiety provoking times we live in, Marie. I am singing internally, in this moment, “You are my hiding place. You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Thanks for this post, especially these words, ” His purposes not wrecked by tirades.” Bless His Name.

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  9. So I, and you with me, must speak the words of truth in this place until we arrive at the other Place, where war and sin are no more.
    Yes…we’re looking for the place of God’s perfect Kingdom where there is no more war or killing or tears or disease. My youngest son who voluntarily joined the Army after college keeps me close to my Father in prayer just as much as my oldest son who chose accounting for a career and seeks a loving devoted to Jesus woman to marry.
    I have more questions than answers… but I trust God is good and He knows what He is doing.
    I bless you with a feast of JOY in Jesus, my writing friend. Lisa

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  10. I so understand your perspective. I was fifteen when the Twin Towers were attacked. Before that, being in western Europe, I enjoyed a naive sense of peace that started in 1989 when the Berlin wall was torn down: that democracy had finally won. Not so much now. In 2002, I still naively drafted a story taking place in 2016 in which a girl who’d lost her father on 9/11 and a girl whose father was killed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan became friends in a newly free world. I can’t imagine this now and that makes me sad. Via five-minute Friday.

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