From Touchstone Issue #31 See Full Issue

From Sunset to Wildfire: Trusting God Amidst the Chaos

Andy Corley
Prison Fellowship International President and CEO

I watched a blazing sun set over the sea on Sunday evening. An orange orb bathed in a creamy pink matrix over a foundation of blue. It was a picture of beauty, calmness and serenity.

But within 100 miles from where I sat, three islands were literally ablaze with wildfire. Holidaymakers were being evacuated, firefighters were risking their lives and farmers were watching their livelihoods go up in flames as the environment was being engulfed and consumed.

The island I was presently relaxing on, appreciating the serene setting sun, had experienced the same chaos a week before. I had seen the destructive results and the smouldering aftermath with my own eyes.

The Christian life does not make us immune to hardship, challenges or adversity. In fact, it promises it. What God, through his living and written Word, does is encourage us to see beyond the immediate and to trust in His everlasting love and goodness.

When we follow Christ and take the words of the Bible seriously, we must recognize that each night, one of two things might occur before the sun rises again – either the Lord will return, or the sun will resume its appointed course and bring a new day. We recognize that whichever of the two options occurs, His word and His faithfulness are assured and we need not fear:

“Light, space, zest— that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, Those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces. When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.” – Psalms 27:1-6 MSG

As it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. That night yielded to dawn, and we had another day.

This week may hold challenges for you or a family member, and if not this week, maybe next. There is no sugar coating this reality of human life. My wife Andrea reminded me as we prayed in the sunset, that the truth of the Psalm below penned almost 3,000 years ago will apply, no matter what.

Whatever occurs, He is God and His love is everlasting.

Selah (meaning pause and think calmly on this)

“I will exalt You, my God, O King, And [with gratitude and submissive wonder] I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You and lovingly praise You; Yes, [with awe-inspired reverence] I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is [so vast and profound as to be] unsearchable [incomprehensible to man]. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty and remarkable acts. On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. People will speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And [with gratitude and submissive wonder] I will tell of Your greatness. They will overflow [like a fountain] when they speak of Your great and abundant goodness And will sing joyfully of Your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works [the entirety of things created]. All Your works shall give thanks to You and praise You, O Lord, And Your godly ones will bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glorious majesty of Your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord upholds all those [of His own] who fall And raises up all those who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You [in hopeful expectation], And You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is [unwaveringly] righteous in all His ways And gracious and kind in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, To all who call on Him in truth (without guile). He will fulfill the desire of those who fear and worship Him [with awe-inspired reverence and obedience]; He also will hear their cry and will save them. The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh will bless and gratefully praise His holy name forever and ever.” – Psalms 145:1-21 AMP



Letter from the CEO

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