Last night I sat in a meeting by the Child Advocacy Center, and over the course of the next two hours it seemed that at some point every cell phone in the room buzzed around me, some even going off in a storm alert sort of pattern. I looked down at my own phone as I received a text from my husband that a 10 year old girl had been kidnapped off the street nearby while making a two block walk to a friend’s home. This text was followed by the sharp buzz of an Amber Alert that instantly explained all the buzzing and humming of phones in “silent” all around the room. It was a sickening twist of irony that as we were learning more about how to protect children, we were receiving the news of the abduction followed by this morning’s even more devastating news that the precious girl, Hailey M.Owens, had been reportedly murdered in the few short hours before the police captured her abductor.

My heart is broken by this sickening news as I pray for her family and friends. My mommy heart breaks for her mommy, her family, her friends. Apparently she was a dear friend of some of the daughters of my mommy friends and my heart breaks for them, because at their tender young age their little hearts should never have to know such evil.
In despair at the evil and wickedness of the world, I opened my Bible to Psalm 53 (ESV) and read: 
There Is None Who Does Good

To the choirmaster: according to pMahalath. A Maskil1 of David.

53 qThe fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;

there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven

on the children of man

to see if there are any who understand,2

who seek after God.

They have all fallen away;

together they have become corrupt;

there is none who does good,

not even one.

Have those who work evil no knowledge,

who eat up my people as they eat bread,

and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror,

rwhere there is no terror!

For God sscatters the bones of him who encamps against you;

you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!

When God restores the fortunes of his people,

let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.”

Reading this, I could relate to the psalmist, David, as he cried out about the evil in the land and called for the salvation of his people. I have often spent time in prayer, bemoaning the wickedness of this world and my own sin nature while calling out to the Lord to come back and restore His people and turn their hearts back to Him. This is what my heart was crying out all morning as I wept and prayed. With a heavy heart, I turned to another verse that gave me hope and strength as I continue to look to the Lord in a world that is filled with so much loss, sadness, and feelings of hopelessness. Psalm 42:9-11

I say to God, my rock:

“Why have you forgotten me?

oWhy do I go mourning

because of the oppression of the enemy?”

10 As with a deadly wound in my bones,

my adversaries taunt me,

pwhile they say to me all the day long,

“Where is your God?”

11qWhy are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation and my God.

These simple words remain on my heart as I meditate on them while trying to process this grief filled situation. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” My hope can not be on things of this world, which offers only sin and wickedness, my hope remains in the Lord. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”