It has been a while since I last posted in this blog, but it hasn't been because of a lack of thoughts or inspiration. Irony,  the difference between appearance and reality, has been a constant presence in my life. So has prayer.

I have experienced many situations in the last few months where my faith has been tested. Many have made me angry. A few have made me sad. I know these tests are there not as temptation, but as an opportunity to show strength and God's presence in my life.

One of these tests has been the disappearance of my seventeen-year-old niece. Although she has made contact since the day she left, knowing that she is more than an arm's length away has rocked our family.

Seeing the frailty of age taking aim at my in-laws is difficult, too. I pray constantly for their strength, but also for my wife. I pray for God's comforting embrace and His strength for her as she travels this difficult road with her parents.

The blessings have been there as well, but not without a test of faith. Over a year ago I wondered what was His plan for me with my employer.  One year later, a turnaround has occurred.

There has been one constant in all of this. Faith in God in these trying times. Hurricanes have ravaged the homelands of friends, health has been attacked, and others are not within reach, but in each of these trials I remembered a song sung in church and in youth groups that I was in when I was younger: "Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust, yet the love of the Lord will stand as a shelter to all who will call on His name. Sing the praise and the glory of God."

For my family and friends who in the last month are experiencing heartache and pain, remember this song. Remember He is our shelter.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Psalm 46:1-2