Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Friday, February 26 Read Isaiah 43: 1-7

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:1-2

No Rose Garden

Life can be unfair.

A toddler is accidentally shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. A much loved newlywed is run down by a drunk driver as she walks to work. The humble home of an African-American widow in New Orleans is destroyed by flood waters. A young pastor in Michigan dies from head injuries after slipping on ice while taking out the trash. A vibrant, witty man just entering his golden years is diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease. Two thousand, seven hundred and fifty-three people, going about their daily business, die in two towering infernos at the hands of terrorists.

Wouldn’t the world be wonderful if God worked things out so that only bad guys got murdered, or sick or deprived of food and shelter? It doesn’t work that way. Bad things do happen to good people.

“I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden.”

The thing is, life is unfair. It just is. God never promised us a rose garden. But God has made many other promises to us, and God always keeps his promises.

Here’s what I believe God has promised me:

Dallas Irene Murphy, beloved child, I knew you before you were born, and I have been by your side ever since. I have seen your achievements, your disappointments, your setbacks, your worries, your great sorrows and your great joys. I know the road has sometimes been rough, the flood waters high and the fire hot. And I’m still here with you, holding your hand. Don’t be afraid. I promise that I will never leave you. I love you.

The promise is the same for you. God knows your name. God is here. God has your back. God loves you.

Dallas Cronk

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