I was reading from my regular daily devotional book one Saturday not long agoand I remember feeling that God wanted me to go ahead and read the page for the next day too. I resisted, of course. That's the page for tomorrow, I thought.Why would I read Sunday's selection on Saturday? But I did, and I read this:For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God thatis in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39I connected with that passage in such a powerful way that day. It reminded meof a thought that had come to my mind, like a message from God, several daysearlier. I think I must have been allowing some worry to trouble me; probably Iwas worrying about the safety of my children or other loved ones. The thoughtthat came to me was this:To God, even death is irrelevant.And, as it has always been when the messages come, I received, with those fewsimple words, a profound understanding of the depth of their meaning. Whenwe pray for protection for a loved one or for some other situation that seems torequire some specific outcome or “answer”, our hope still allows for fear andworry. We don't know the future so we don't know that things will turn out theway we would prefer.And when having the preferred answer is something that is very, very importantto us, our hope and our prayers have a kind of frantic quality to them. Becauseour hope is not in God, but in our limited desires regarding how thecircumstances should turn out. Circumstances, I think, are something veryweak to put our hope in.But if our hope is in God, there is no room for fear or worry because, like thescripture says, NOTHING can separate us from God's love. So, if we arepraying for a loved one, even if they die, that does not mean God hasabandoned them or failed to protect them, because not even death can separatethat person from God's love. They are safe in the Love of God, regardless of the circumstances!But, even as we seek to achieve that level of peace where our hope is totally inGod and no circumstance can shake us, God understands that we aren't thereyet. He understands that, to us, death is extremely relevant. So he is there withus every step of the way, comforting us and strengthening us in our pain, in our fear, and in our worry.