Monday, April 15, 2013

Facing Tragedy

By now, you've probably heard about the tragic explosions at the Boston Marathon.  At least two were killed and more than 100 injured.  So many families are grieving in America today. 

When things like this happen, I always feel shaken into reality.  Each day, I live my life feeling safe and secure.  Carefree, I walk to class.  I go to sleep without fear.  I wake up, get in my car, and hurry through my day without much concern for the things that could happen.  Most days, I feel perfectly safe.

The men and women running the Boston Marathon today probably also felt secure as they prepared to run 26.2 miles.  After training for months, nerves must have been high and excitement filled the air.  Surely no one began the race with awareness of the terror waiting for them at the finish line.

In August, I shared about my experience living near the scene of a shooting close to my university.
What a horrific, horrific thing.

My mind can't fully wrap around how a man could so casually take the lives of those around him.  It's hard for me to understand what kind of a world this is where evil so easily happens, where a violent, terrible tragedy can hit so close to home.  My heart is broken for the families that lost loved ones.  My heart is broken for the loss of peace and security in my neighborhood.  There is great unease now.  So much confusion. 

It's been a couple of days since the incident.  The crime tape is gone.  No more police cars.  Most of the news reporters have wandered off to newer stories.  But the feeling of sorrow in this community has not yet gone away.  Our hearts are crying out for those affected by this tragedy and for the brokenness of this world in which we live.     
The world is so broken.  We wander about our day-to-day lives, living in secure, familiar, comfortable boxes that we are eager to create, but that isn't how life truly is.  With the drop of a hat, every pretense can be shattered.  Life is a mist.  So quickly it can be ended.  Whether we are living in the jungles of the Congo or driving our cars through the streets in Oklahoma, life is not certain.

If we are honest with ourselves, it is easy to see the brokenness of this earth.  We know that people all around us are hurting.  We know that life can be lost.  There is sorrow.  There is tragedy.  

But there is also joy.

Amidst the brokenness of this earth, we have one thing that matters more than anything else: the love of Christ.

In the case of the explosions in Boston today, the same difficult truth is evident.  We live in a broken world filled with insecurity and violence.  If you don't believe there is need for a Savior, turn on any news station.  There is death.  There is pain.  There is uncertainty.  Tragedy so often strikes when we least expect it.

I go to school at one of the biggest universities in the nation.  One day when I'm sitting in class and taking notes, a shooter could come and take my life.  Bad things happen.  As long as we live on this sinful earth, we will face grief and sorrow.  

This is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take the place for our sins.  He suffered and died for us.  Despite the fact that Jesus never did anything wrong, He experienced in fullness every temptation and consequence of living on a broken earth.  But He overcame sin.  He claimed victory over death.  After three days in a tomb, Jesus rose again and lives today.  He offers redemption and salvation to anyone who has faith in Him.  His love is powerful

There is no security in this life, but the Lord offers peace and hope for eternal salvation in Him.  Even in times of tragedy, there is joy, because one day Christ will return victoriously.  John 16:33 says, "You may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world." 

When everything else is lost, there is love.  Christ loves unfailingly.  Cling to Him.

Psalm 4:8
In peace I will lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. 

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