Hope

[tweetmeme]It is with a heavy heart I write this post. The initial event, though already a week old, is still very fresh in my mind—and a challenge to my faith. And unfortunately there is no immediate end in sight.

Without going into detail, for local media is exhaustively covering it, my landlord, a friend of more than ten years was arrested on very serious charges (and I hope and pray they are false charges). The house where I live was raided and my laptop and shotgun (among a couple other items) are now in the custody of the government.

As a background to all this, in my own life, I have been struggling somewhat in my walk with God, and this raid and arrest, brought that part of my life to a head. I suddenly felt lost, weak, and laboring for each step. I wanted to leave Fairbanks forever, start a new life, pretend this never happened. I kept waking up hoping it was all just a bad dream.

But in all of this I have learned, and am learning, some really important lessons and truths.

The first is hope. Without hope, what is there worth living for? Hope is what keeps us going; it is was keeps me going. Yet there is a hope that lasts when everything else fails and it is that hope I am talking about. It is a hope in God, a hope of a future free from pain, suffering, heartache, and doubt. It is a hope that one day my faith will given sight.

The second is friends. I have been blessed so much by the community of believers God has placed me in. Just their presence has been enough to encourage me, lighten my load, and remind me we are all in this together—we are not alone.

The third prayer and bearing burdens. When I stepped off the bus and began walking up the hill towards the house, I saw a bunch of SUV’s and a couple Trooper cars parked in front of the house.  Electronic equipment were warrant, and had I been inside when the officers were there, I would have lost my cell phone. I almost took my laptop to work that day, and had I, it would still be in my possession.

For several days afterward, I thought about what I would do if I had it to do all over again. As tempting as it would be to grab my laptop at least, I don’t think I would change a thing. And here is why. If I had not lost my laptop, or had not even lived at the house, I would have felt somewhat removed from the situation. But by being directly affected by it, I have a keener understanding of how to pray for Schaeffer, his family, and his parents (his dad is my pastor here in Fairbanks). And because of that, I am grateful for the choices I made—what I did and did not do.

In addition, I ask that you all keep Schaeffer, his family, and his parents in your prayers. Pray that in everything the name of God would be glorified. I am resting on the promise that “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” (Pilippians 4:7; ESV, italics mine).

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