What we know… Vol 32
Kathy and I had a date night last night. When we walked in to the movie, the final suspect in the Boston bombings was still at large. By the time we finished the movie and had ordered our coffee…he was in custody. Justice.
A couple of days after the terrorist attack in Boston, my pastor updated his blog. As it turns out, there was a family in our church very near one of the blasts. They were badly injured. Massive leg injuries requiring multiple surgeries and a little boy who had to be totally sedated because of an apparent brain injury. It was shocking…it was very close to home for us at Northridge.
David’s post was in two parts. The first was “what we want to feel” when these things happen and the second, “what we know as believers.”
Initially I was offended. My response was “This is too soon. Give us some time to process this”…and… “Of course I know that stuff, I’m a believer. I’ve walked with the Lord for over 40 years! C’mon man! Most of us will get back to loving and forgiving and right thinking…but right now we’re tipping over the money changers tables. We’re scared, we’re angry and we just want to gather our families and loved ones.”
Yes, we know that this world belongs to Satan for now…and that bad things happen. Heck, bad things happen without terrorist bombs. (Bad things could happen if I spend too much money at Sears :))
I was a little surprised at my reaction to the blog. I ranted a little to my wife and a couple of close friends. But I began to think about what I would have told people I ministered to. How would I have comforted them through a senseless act like this. Where does the wisdom come from to deal with this kind of tragedy. Well …it comes from the Word. From God’s promise of revenge against the wicked one day. It comes from the bedrock of the faith that we cling to… that we say we’ve based our lives on. Here is where our faith is tested..smack dab in the hard times.
Vince Lombardi used to begin each football season by holding up a football and proclaiming “Gentlemen…this is a football!” It wasn’t so much to make sure they could identify it on sight..but rather to instill with one sentence what that leather ball represented to that group of men.
My pastor was simply holding up God’s word and reminding us that we are believers and that as bad as this act was…God is still running things and we can trust Him with our feelings of rage, pain, anguish, disgust, despair , sorrow, bitterness, revenge. And maybe that what we know of God and his character that is true in our lives should temper those feelings. We can, and should allow the Holy Spirit to control us even when it’s hard and the acts against us are unimaginable, like Boston. Even when people we know and love are suffering and dying for nothing they have done.
It’s not easy. Even though I know this is right, I’m still struggling. I’m not there yet. I may be taking the long way around to get back. I’m still concerned for my family…and now I’m expecting more of the same as we wind down to the end of what we know as life on this planet. We are going to see evil in many forms moving us, propelling us forward unrelentingly to Christ’s coming. But we have the promise of the WIN in the end. We ARE going to be bloodied and bruised. There ARE going to be times of disillusionment when we wonder “where is God in this?” We are going to lose some good people in this fight. But we ARE going to WIN in the end…and evil will be completely defeated forever. So hold on believer. Joy comes in the morning.
Romans 12:19, Psalms 30:5