“He was a great kid, always smiling…” These words describe Martin Richard, the 8-year old boy who died in the Boston Marathon bombing. His death captured for me, perhaps more than anything, the horrific nature of the tragedy. The innocence. The evil. The inexplicable. How can we not mourn?
Yet our national mourning—where we find some degree of comfort—is short-lived. Within 24 hours of the bombing I hear one politician trying to explain how if “tax cuts” would have been in place, more people would have died. So our disasters no longer serve to at least pull the country together. They are exploited for some political gain. The fabric of our nation continues to unravel before our eyes…and we mourn even more.
I have a feeling it’s not going to get any better. Scripture warns us that in the last days the increase of wickedness will cause the love of most to grow cold (Matthew 24:12). If we hope to avoid being included with the most, we need to know what we’re facing. Sin will inevitably increase, but it cannot—cannot—grow greater than grace. Hatred is powerful, but love is more powerful because God is love. Our job is to declare it….
The dilemma we face is not a new one. Centuries ago, David asked, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” He refused the notion of fleeing like a bird to the mountain when the wicked “bend their bows.” He remembered that God loves the righteous and that justice will be realized in the end (Psalm 11). A good reminder for us as well.
You and I have been put on the earth at this particular time, in this particular country, through these particular circumstances. We mourn the effects of sin, but we must never lose sight of the truth. There is no evil Satan intends that God can’t turn into good. We of all people ought to have this reality embedded into our hearts so we don’t lose hope. When darkness falls, His people are to shine as beacons of grace illuminating the powerful words of the hymnist…
And though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet….