Whenever a tragedy occurs, the nation goes into shock and the responses are expected, predictable, and understandable:
- People (often politicians or law enforcement) say things like – "Evil will not win."
- Observers often say things like, "How can this happen? I don't understand why anyone would do such wicked things."
- Politicians and law enforcement ensure the public that "We will find who did this…" "They will be brought to justice…" etc…
- Many, many strong statements of patriotism are made and the usually divides of Republican versus Democrat go away for a short period.
All of those are understandable. Of course, we take even a stronger interest here because a women from our church and worship team was in Boston near the explosions and was one who underwent surgery yesterday (I haven't heard an update yet on Gina).
And I just want to remind you of how Christians should think about such things. All of the above ideas are right, good, and fair, but there should be a couple of thoughts that enter the minds of Christ-followers every time there is a tragedy. Let me suggest a few:
- We live in a fallen, sin-cursed world.This world is broken and because of sin, sinners do terribly wicked and sinful things. Although each instance shocks us, we should never be surprised.
- Hope is not found in capturing the perpetrators (as much as we all want that to happen). If and when we capture the individual(s) who did this, that won't solve the problems of our world. We root for justice in these situations and we want justice, and that is good. But we can't set our hope in capturing the terrorists of this event.
- The cross of Christ is the only remedy for evil. Tighter security will not keep us safe. More laws will not keep things like yesterday from happening (I'm not opposed to proper laws for public safety, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking solutions are found in more laws). It is only radically changed hearts – whose compositions have been rearranged by the Gospel – that can solve the problem of evil.
- God is sovereign and can be trusted. I don't understand why He allows such things as yesterday, but I know for certain He is sovereign and can be trusted, and that is where my hope is.
When we keep those four things in mind, it helps us to navigate tragedies such as yesterday. What other Truths should be kept in mind at times like this? Do you have suggestions?