A couple of hours ago Kristi and I got a text message from one of our teenage daughters, “There’s a shooting here at Fashion Island! PRAY!”
Immediately we huddled and prayed, crying out the God of Angel Armies in Jesus’ name to protect our daughter and thousands of other people from yet another crazy gunman. They were at the Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach, CA. We took up the sword of the Spirit and went to battle. We put our faith in the Lord God who is a mighty fortress.
We were still praying a few minutes later when we got a text update: “I’m in a storage room where I was styling hair. There are Christians here that we are praying with. Are you watching the news? We don’t know what’s going on!”
We don’t have television and we couldn’t find any news on the Internet. Of course, we were frightened thinking about the awful shootings in Connecticut yesterday and other places recently. We kept praying.
It wasn’t until almost an hour later that we got word from Kristi’s mom who had turned on the television news that the shooter had fired over 50 gun shots in the air, but he was apprehended before hurting anyone. Thank God! I immediately sent a text message to our daughter, “We’ve been praying. We just heard from Grandma that everyone in the mall is safe. Please come home so I can hug you!”
A Heavenly Hug
What a sweet embrace we enjoyed when our daughter got home thirty minutes later! She melted in my arms for a few minutes. We gave silent thanks to God. Then she told us what happened:
It was crazy! A lady came into our store running and screaming frantically, “There’s a shooter!” We all ran to the back storage room.
We sat huddled there in the closet. I was with the other hair stylists and our clients. Everyone was scared, thinking about yesterday. All I could hear was our breathing and my heart beating. Then I started praying out loud with one of the clients for God to protect us and everyone else.
After the shooting rampage in Connecticut yesterday many parents lost their son or daughter.
Danger on the First Christmas!
Danger. Fear. Death. Grieving. This Christmas season is a lot like the first Christmas. We don’t sing about in our Christmas carols, but the Bible tells us that Advent is full of danger and battle. The prophecies of the Messiah, the birth of Immanuel, and the Second Coming of Christ all involve wars.
The villain of the first Christmas was King Herod. When he heard from the three Magi that a new king named Jesus had been born in Bethlehem in his country he flew into a rage! He was insecure and paranoid about losing his throne so the ruthless king ordered his soldiers to murder every baby boy in the area.
But the God of Angel Armies went to work! He spoke to Joseph through the Magi and in a dream, warning him of the danger that little Jesus was in. The Holy Family fled to Egypt for safety.
At the first Christmas and today the Kingdom of God has prevailed. The God of Angel Armies always goes to work, especially in response to the prayers of his people. But even when evil wins a battle the Lord God is at work to comfort and redeem.
In actuality, even if not in our visible circumstances or our physical bodies, this world is a perfectly safe place to be if we’re in the kingdom of the heavens. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and God is our loving Father. Our souls are safe in God’s loving hands now and forever (John 10:28).
Devotionals and Prayer Cards for Advent prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. Each meditation includes an Advent passage of Scripture, picture, reflection, and Breath Prayer from the Bible. This is designed for personal devotions, small groups or a holiday gatherings with family and friends.