Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Peace

child's surprised face

God Never Gasps

Surprised face

While we panic and run out to stock up on toilet paper because we didn’t see this pandemic coming, we can be reassured God did. God is all-knowing. There are no surprises for Him.

 In October of 2001, I remember sitting at my desk and the phones not ringing for months. The world was still in shock after the 9-11 terrorist attack, and commerce had shut down. My husband and I had just purchased our first home, and his business was still in the toddler stages. No phone calls meant no customers, which meant no income to pay the new mortgage or other incoming bills.

To quote Dickenson, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

I say this because it was the 9-11 realization that evil existed in the world and it was trying to kill us that drove my husband and myself to find God. We warily stepped into church seeking answers, hope, and connection, and God met us at the door like an old friend with open arms.

God didn’t create the terrorist attack, nor did he create the coronavirus, but He will use it for His good. As I look back, I can see how his hand has been preparing things within my sphere of influence behind the scenes.

  • Within the last year, my church felt compelled to launch an online campus. With Massachusetts not allowing gatherings over 25 people, we were able to hold church at home.
  • A year ago, I started writing The Merchant’s Yield, which has a main character who struggles to release the fear of sickness and death to God after moving to an island where disease is prevalent. Little did I know how relevant it would be today, and I’m praying it will get into the hands of people who need encouragement and the message that we can’t live in fear.
  • In the past six months, my husband took on the financial costs of hiring a Chaplin service for our employees who needed prayer, and it has been utilized significantly, especially recently.  

Could these be coincidences? Perhaps. But, then I remember how Jesus stood whipped and beaten to the point of death. He’d been nailed to a cross, experiencing a pain I can’t even imagine, but He called out to the disciple John, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27). While His lifeblood was being poured out for us, He was arranging for the care of his mother, Mary.

God is working. He knows every detail, every need. He doesn’t drop the ball. Evil may work to create chaos, but God turns all things around for His good (Romans 8:28).

We need to seize the opportunity. Now is the time to text, call, or use social media to reach out to those who are scared. We have a chance to be the hands and feet of Christ. God has prepared us for this moment. Fear may rule them, but we know God is in control. The world craves the peace we have, and God has given us an opening to talk freely about our eternal perspective. Now’s our chance to checkmate evil.

“For we are to God, the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” – 2 Corinthians 2:15

Hands holding earth

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River water

Peace like a River

There is nothing worse than the sinking feeling where your stomach seems to flip River at dusk Yellowstone national parkinside out. That weightless pause as if you drove too fast down a steep hill and the blood in your veins halts its progression. Or the cold nervous sweat that tingles your palms and dampens your forehead. It’s the feeling that you’ve entered into a nightmare. Whether it be the dreadful call from the hospital, the text that informs you the relationship is over, the boss that calls you into his office, or even just the split second when you realize you left your cell phone at home. No matter what the source, the feeling is icky.

Unfortunately, we all experience it. We’re going to get bad news. We’re going to screw up. We’re going to have our car break down alone, at night, in the middle of a dark quarry road, with a child waiting for you to pick him up from football practice. (Well, maybe that last one just happens to me.) Even still, bad things are going to happen, but that icky, sinking feeling can be followed by a peace that is beyond comprehension.

Pastor Ernie Frye of Metrowest Ministries calls it, “Peace like a river.” At first, when I heard this, I thought, a river isn’t peaceful. There are rapids, currents, and unseen things beneath the surface. A river’s current can carry you away. But, that’s exactly it. It carries you downstream.

River waterA river has movement. It has a destination. It merges with other rivers for a combined force. God’s peace is not like a stagnant lake. It’s like a river that flows around you and through you. It allows you to be carried through situations and come out on the other side. It is a constant, moving peace that is life-giving and sustains you.

So when tough times come and that icky, palm sweating, heart-clenching, feeling tries to ensnare you in its log jam, call upon the strength of the river. Lean back and let its peace carry you through.

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