Hi Friend!

Has anything ever shaken or reignited fears you thought were in your past?

Maybe it’s another affair or an addiction relapse. Or perhaps you received a devastating report from a child’s teacher or your doctor after you hoped a permanent corner had been turned. Maybe what has you shaking with fear isn’t what’s within your home but in today’s headlines. The pandemic and political tension re-escalated your anxiety and wound you tight to new levels of worry.

Photo Credit: Grand Rapids Press

I recently had the opportunity to share about an old fear that impacted my new days. A few years ago, random, suspicious fires were being started in garages throughout my neighborhood. Sleep doesn’t come easy when your bedroom is above a garage!

Just when we started to relax — with no fire for 17 days — fire trucks, police cars and soul-splitting sirens filled our street.

It was 2:30 a.m. when new flames, only five doors down, reignited old fears.

(Full Proverbs 31 devotion here.)

A number of readers wondered about the rest of the story. Who started the fires? Did they stop? Was the person ever caught?

Sorry to have left you hanging, friend!

Here’s the rest of the story….

Thankfully, after weeks of sleepless nights, the police caught the arsonist red-handed before anyone was hurt.

Here’s a brief excerpt from a Wood TV 8 news article:

“A Silent Observer tip after a fire on Grand Rapid’s northeast side put investigators on the trail of the suspect. News 8 confirmed through family members that the suspect is 23-year-old Joseph McIntyre. Police have been following the suspect practically 24/7 according to one investigator. They busted him about 2:15 a.m. Sunday near the latest fire scene. After an interview that went on for about four hours, one investigator told News 8, ‘He’s made statements that have tied him to all of the fires. No one has been injured, but there were some close calls.'”

After weeks of fear breathing down our necks, we all slept much better when the arsonist was behind bars.

As we followed this young man’s trial in the news, it was tragic to hear of the pain and trauma that was a part of the very fabric of this young man’s life. I’m certainly not excusing his actions, but my heart hurts for this young man and the abuse he experienced most of his life.

Although Joseph’s defense claimed he was insane when setting the fires, a jury found him guilty on all charges.

May God reveal Himself to this young man, and may he get help––emotionally, physically, and spiritually––while he is behind bars.

`For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (Matthew 25:35-36)

All these years later, I still clasp a bracelet on my right wrist as a reminder of God’s unbreakable promise: The world may shake, but I will not. God is with me, He is for me, and I am loved.

Friend, so are you!

Our world will always quake, and fear will always be a liar.

But you can stand certain in all the uncertainties and unshakeable in our shaking world as you remember truth. You need not fear when you choose to see that God is near. With Him at your right hand, you will not be shaken!



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