“Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration. And it took a depression to teach us the value of a job.” - Victor Hugo
James 1: 2-7
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
Matthew 11: 28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Nobody likes to go through difficult times, and we don't wish them on anyone. But often progress and spiritual growth is borne out of dealing with difficulties. This morning, as our thoughts are with the people of France (Victor Hugo was the author of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’), let us be confident. Maybe the disaster which is the burning of the famous Cathedral will bring people together and unify France under a good cause.
Lord, we pray today for our fellow human beings who are facing difficult times, painful decisions, uncomfortable situations. We pray for the people in France who witnessed the destruction of one of their beloved symbols of national identity and a house of worship. By your gracious power, guide them through these times and let them arrive on the other side of a calamity, having grown in knowledge, wisdom, and compassion. Bless people with ingenuity and resilience. Let your light shine bright in the deepest darkness and guide us closer to you, the eternal light.