Once again our lives were transformed as we witnessed unbelievable horror last week. The unforeseen bombing at the Boston Marathon and the unexplained fire and explosion in West, Texas Read More »riveted our world and moved into our very cores. Emotions erupted in the form of tears, horror, and panic. Once again we questioned, “Why?”
For many, their lifelong dream of crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon was forever altered. Several runners lost limbs, and their journey back to another race-day will be filled with anguish and trials. In West, Texas livelihoods and life as it was known was forever changed when a fertilizer plant lit up the night sky with unbelievable force. Friends and family members were killed and injured in the blast, and life will never be the same in the small Texas town of 2800 people. West, Texas, “just a place” where I stop and get my kolaches as I head back to Dallas from a trip south on Interstate 35, is now more than “just a place”.
Eyewitness accounts chronicle stories of heroes who ran heedlessly into the plant to put out the fire, alert those who were near the danger, and then ran back with determination to save their neighbors. In Boston we saw people running into the bombed area to help others, not knowing if another debilitating explosion might flash before their eyes. Those of us at home, safe on our couches, or at our favorite coffee shop with friends once again began to ask, “Why?” Why did it happen? Why did those brave ones run into danger? Would I do that? Why would someone want to kill or maim defenseless people, or in the case of West, how do we come to grips with the fact that it “just” happened? A lot of questions for a little ole girl like me. And, once again, those of you who look for someone to blame always seem to ask THE question, “If there is a God, how could He let something like this happen?”
My response to that question is, “My loving God doesn’t cause bad things to happen.” He gives us the courage and endurance to forget ourselves and trust. He was there with kind words, as the brave Bostonians applied tourniquets with their belts to the injured. He was in the carnage, wreckage and bewilderment in West. He let us get up the next morning, walk down the street and not worry about the next explosion. He showed us the immeasurable good in people.
Who doesn’t like a scapegoat? Jesus was one when He hung on the cross. He didn’t do anything to deserve the whip to His back or nails in His glorious hands. Just like the first responders, the citizens of West, the runners or by standers at the Boston Marathon, Jesus walked the earth and lived among us.
And perhaps the hardest question of all…
Could you be His hands on earth if you were Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s nurse, doctor, or attorney? Could you give him a healing touch as you cared for or defended him? This damaged child of God committed many wrongs, yet our Lord did not forsake Him when he lay in his refuge of the boat. Tsarnaev might not have been aware, but our precious Savior was there just as He would be for you and me. He does not turn anyone away. So you might say, “A God of love would not let this happen; there can’t be a God.” But I say, “We are loved and inspired to show God to those around us ‘FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS’ – times when the days are dark and the nights long.” He is in our midst. He was there, holding the Bostonians and people of West in the palm of His hand, as they stepped out trusting that the God of light would show them the way. We are all here “FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.” You might not call Him “God”, but He is. My God, your God, everyone’s God, whether you know it or not. Esther saved a nation, because she listened. Who has your ear?
Points to Ponder
1. Who is your God?
2. Have you ever felt you were created for “such a time as this?” What was the situation?
3. Is there someone you can’t forgive? Can you pray that God will open your heart?
Pray with me:
Dear God of forgiveness,
We find ourselves in situations that we could never imagine, trusting You will guide us on our way. Help us to remember You are always by our side waiting for us to reach out for Your guiding touch.