On April 15, 2013 someone set off two bombs that racked destruction amongst the spectators of the Boston Marathon. Three people died and over one hundred and seventy people were injured and a number of those injuries were so severe that they had to have limbs amputated. The first thing many of us ask when such devastation is so needlessly poured out, is why? Who is so angry that they take their hatred out on innocent people who are out for a days enjoyment watching a sporting event? By the time politicians and the press spin the facts surrounding the bombings, we may never know what really happened.
The other story that emerged from this tragedy was the unselfish aid that many people lavished upon the injured. First responders, runners, and spectators pitched in to care for the wounded. Many people’s lives were saved in the first minutes after the bomb blasts because of the unselfish service of others. Ann Frank wrote, “Everyone has inside themselves a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” Times of unexpected disaster, tests our ability to do greater things than we could ever envision for ourselves. medics, policemen, firemen, doctors and nurses found that good news inside them and discovered how great they could be.
As Christians we all face unexpected tragedy in our day- to- day walk with God. How we handle those situations depends on how we see God. If we see God only through our problems, He will seem far away and distant. As a result, He will not be big enough to handle our pain. On the other hand, if we see our problems through God’s mercy and love, then our problems are brought down to size and He is able to help us in our time of need.
Unfortunately, some of us have to face pain and loss alone, since we have no one to turn to for comfort and support. It is easy to give up and be overwhelmed by our problems, but that isn’t the answer. Kevin Ngo wrote, “If you have no one to encourage you, instead of using that as an excuse for failure, encourage yourself and use that as a reason why you must succeed.” We must remember, however, we are not alone. Moses tells us,“For the Lord your God is a merciful God, He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers which is confirmed to them, by oath.” Deuteronomy 4: 31 God never abandons us or forgets us no matter how discouraged and downhearted we feel. God’s love and grace are not predicated upon our feelings, but upon His oath.
Today, family members and friends of the victims have to go through the agonizing reality of what sin does in the world. But, they do not have to face the pain of loss alone; God is with them. He understands the agony of loss as He watched His Son die on Calvary’s cross. He understands the hurt and offers comfort through the comforter, the Holy Spirit. We are not abandoned in our hurt; God is ever present.On the day of the Boston Marathon, God was there in the compassion and actions of the first responders who unselfishly rushed into potential danger to help. God was there in the healing hands of medical staff that gave everything they had to save a strangers life. It is hard to see beyond the evil of a terrorist attack, but in the kindness and compassion of hundreds of fellow Bostonians, the world would know we are not abandoned.