“When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there’s no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You’ll no longer be so full of questions. This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!"
When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint. If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face. God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well.
Honestly, I'm not there yet. I don't see the hope in it yet. I can speculate, I can believe that family members of those lost will find God in the thick of horrific tragedy, I can believe that individuals have a new awareness of the urgent call on their lives in the midst of it's fragility, I can believe that in a state of desperation, our country will turn to God even if in a bit of unsure belief because they simply don't know where else to look. But in transparency, those are beliefs that I am constantly rewriting as truths in my mind. A narrative I am choosing to believe to be greater than the outworking of evil. A Gospel storyline that wipes away tears, shatters pain, and offers a breath of air so fresh, so pure, that the unknowns, the confusing moments, the vicious attacks and attempts of evil to take out faith, and the moments of raw desperation are deflated in an exhale to draw in salvation's lifeline.
So those are the waters I will allow to wash over: Jesus saves, Heaven's hope is active and alive in and through us today, right this very moment, and the tides of a perfect love that conquers all.