The Austin serial bomber caused growing fear and anxiety for local residents. 

What if I drive over a trip wire?
What if my child picks up a package bomb?
What if…?
What if….?
Suddenly keeping one’s family safe felt out of reach.  No one knew where the next package bomb would blow up.  I wonder what it would be like to live in a country where parents and children deal with extreme fear as a normal part of daily life – or in a season of war during which terror is the norm.
I am very, very grateful for our local and national law enforcement officials who collaborated beautifully to restore calm to Austin this past week.  We all breathed a sigh of relief with the news that this serial-bomber-saga was over.

In reality our safety is never fully assured – one’s life can be snuffed out unexpectedly.

Oh, how we try to keep our kids safe……..
We are vigilant about seatbelts and bike helmets. Some bear arms for protective purposes and install devices to keep a constant watch on their homes.  School shootings motivate others towards homeschooling.
Yet, no matter how hard we try, we cannot guarantee safety for our families. Harm can come our way at any given time in any given way.

Evil itself has no boundaries, as we recently experienced here in Austin.

Evil isn’t just around us. The battle between good and evil runs right through each human heart.  I wonder what internal thoughts and motives lead Mark Conditt to carry out his bombing spree.  My heart goes out to the Conditt family who appeared utterly shocked at the news. I can’t imagine the devastation they must feel to not only have lost a son but to know the crimes against humanity that he committed. They need our prayers.

A few years back, my husband and I went to Israel.

We spent two weeks touring the country under the guidance of an archeologist with a long history serving in the Israeli military.  He assured us that he would keep us safe.  I went on the trip with some trepidation and fear, but while there I felt entirely safe.
Was it the invisible defensive shield in place over Israel or the fighter jets flying overhead?  Was it the assurance of our tour guide? In looking back, while those things helped, I know it was prayer that assured me.
Prayers by the leaders of our group.  Prayers by our guide. Our own prayers.

Prayer ushers in peace and calmness and drives out fear.  It is our first line of defense.

I am grateful for the VIP (Veritas in Prayer) team who meet weekly to pray over our school and community and who publish prayer guides: this week’s guide is fittingly titled “Prayers to Break a Spirit of Fear.”  I am blessed to be a part of their prayer text group which regularly holds up the needs of many individuals. Their faithful and fervent prayers are a powerful-behind-the-scenes- ministry that makes a real difference. Thank you VIP team!

This week’s prayer guide included Psalm 91:2-6:

These verses remind me of God’s promises.

Fear tends to blind us to anything but fear itself. When fear takes root, it blossoms into stress and anxiety dragging us into despair. That’s why we must learn to set aside “what ifs” and replace them with God’s truth.
While we are not promised another day, we are promised eternal life with God when we place our trust in Him. Furthermore, when my perspective is eternal, I am reminded that “this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through’…..that God holds my past, my present and and most importantly, my future in His hands.

Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.

John 14:27

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7