Thousands of people woke up sadder today than they did yesterday. The tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon shocked our nation once again and we are all reeling with agitated and screaming emotions. There will be plenty of speculation, “It happened because …” and plenty of blame, “Security was inadequate and it’s fault of …” This will take years to sort out and there still will be no solid authentic answer to the how could this happen.
When I first heard the news, my very first thought was of one of my best friends who qualified for the Boston Marathon but decided to run a different one instead. Immediately I thanked God that she wasn’t there, then I prayed for everyone affected by the fury going on at the finish line. When I got home from work I watched as Facebook and Twitter rolled out sentiment after sentiment, all including “our thoughts and prayers”. Thoughts are good. Every act begins with thought, and our minds produce the ideas that spur us on to acts of compassion. Prayers are better because with prayer we acknowledge the presence and the power of God. At some point in all this let’s be honest, we asked where was God? Why did he allow this to happen? I don’t have an answer; nobody has the answer to that.
Here are some things I do know. 2 Timothy 3:1-2 tell us very clearly “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.” Would people who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind plant bombs to kills and destroy their own neighbors? No, but people who are blasphemers, unholy, and despisers of good would definitely perform violent acts of terror. We shouldn’t have to be on our guard. We shouldn’t need to have security wrapped around events that bring only happiness and celebration – but we do. Why is that? I think 1 Peter 5:8 has a pretty good reason. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. “ The enemy of all things good is loose on Earth and he with his evil followers seek to destroy all that is good and comfortable and brings us joy.
So what can we do to overcome these dark days? How can we get past these perpetuating negative incidents? The methods will be different for each person, but the foundation and springboard for thought could all start with what we read in Psalm 37. Here are a few verses starting with verse 34. “Wait passionately for God, don’t leave the path. He’ll give you your place in the sun while you watch the wicked lose it….Keep your eye on the healthy soul, scrutinize the straight life; There’s a future in strenuous wholeness. But the willful will soon be discarded; insolent souls are on a dead-end street. The spacious, free life is from God, it’s also protected and safe. God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil—when we run to him, he saves us.
You know if you’re a child of God, in these times He asks one thing of us; to not lose hope and to remain faithful to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” In these dark days, think first about the power of God in your life, and ask him to make you a light in these dark days. John 3:20-21 says “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
Ready for this day? OK gang, let’s shine.