“What is wrong with the world that people would set off a bomb during a marathon or hijack airplanes causing them to crash into skyscrapers and governments buildings or go into schools and open fire? I don’t understand and it’s very upsetting.”
It’s very upsetting. These words from my sister-in-law echo the thoughts of many this morning. We have once again been struck by tragedy. On Monday, April 15, 2013, several explosions rocked the city of Boston, leaving 3 people dead, and at least 144 have been injured, many critically.
While we don’t know too many details, we all feel the loss and the fear that come with such a tragedy. I was with my teenage daughter in the car when we first heard of the explosions. When we sat at a local restaurant eating dinner, all of the TVs were covering the tragedy. It was such a hard thing to look into her eyes and see fear, to hear her struggle with the worry that no place is safe; if it could happen there, it could happen here.
The truth is, she is right. No place is safe. We have seen over and over again in recent years that tragedies can occur anywhere, anytime, to anyone. We don’t understand it. And it is very upsetting! How do we live with all this fear, with the worry, the sheer terror that something bad could happen anytime?
When I was talking with my daughter this morning, she said something to me that was both profound and way beyond anything I would have thought at her age. She said, “It just makes it that much more important to trust in God. He’s the only thing we can count on.” You know, she’s right. We can’t trust any of our security measures, our feelings of safety, our own innocence or our worth. None of that will protect us from evil.
The only thing that we can trust in this life is God. Even though the mountains will crumble to the sea, and the earth will quake, even though tragedies and evil will come, we can and must say with King David:
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).”
And as God declared to Isaiah, we can take comfort in hearing:
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious hand (Isaiah 41:10).”
We cannot protect ourselves, our kids, or loved ones from all the evil and tragedies in the world. But we can live our lives knowing and trusting that God is with us, that He will help us and strengthen us.
So often the news is filled with stories of tragedy. Our heart and prayers go out to all those in Boston and affected by these explosions. We pray that all may know the love and security that comes only from trusting in God, for He is our only refuge and strength in these troubling times!
Cori Cypret is the pastor of The United Methodist Church of Coopersville.