Yesterday, when the terrorist attacks in France were taking place, my daughter, Anna, was in Paris packing to return home the next day from a month abroad. Anna was part of a literary team who were teaching others how to tell stories. Anna’s trip took her to Morocco, Portugal and finally to Paris. Paris was to be a time of rest and refreshment. Anna was staying with friends in an apartment across the Seine River from where the acts of terrorism took place.
I had not heard of the attacks until a short email from Anna came unexpectedly letting us know she was safe. I immediately went to the news to see what was happening. Jan had to leave for a women’s retreat. For the rest of evening, I sat alone and watched Sky News broadcast from Europe as the horrible events continued to unfold. As a father, I wanted to reach out and take hold of the situation to ensure my daughter’s safety, but in these kinds of situations there are no handholds. It is like most of life – the only thing you can really take hold of in situations like this is faith.
Jan and I went to bed late at night offering up prayers for Anna, her friends and for the nation of France. It was hard to get to sleep. In the middle of the night my cell phone lit up our bedroom with the words, “Boarded!!!”, which meant Anna was able to make it to the airport and was on her flight home. In the darkness of our bedroom, Jan and I offered prayers of thanksgiving that we would see our daughter the next day. Many in Paris were not so fortunate.
This morning as the various news outlets processed the terror attacks in Paris, I heard the Spirit whisper, “Tell them their call is coming.” Immediately I had a sense of what the Lord was saying to me. Some of you are in the middle of very terrifying life-situations. You do not know the outcome. You are trying to rest and it has been a challenge. God is about to send a message in the dark night of your painful experience. Your message will resemble the joyous text we received from Anna letting us know she was heading home. God wants you to know what you have been praying for in your desperate situation is in route and will arrive shortly safe and sound.
Until the text came from Anna, my sleep was fitful. Once I knew she was safe, I fell into a deep sleep that only comes when we know God is taking care of what we love. This kind of rest is what God wants you to experience today. There is nothing more you can do now but rest in His presence and trust Him with the outcome. Let go of fear and worry and allow God to care for the people you love and resolve the situations that time and distance has removed from your ability to control.