In Times of Tragedy

In times of tragic suffering (like today in Boston), I am reminded of what Michael Oh, Executive Director of the Lausanne Movement, said:

“Christians should be near those that are hurting to point them to the purpose and solution of suffering – Jesus.”

I have thought of that often over this last week and today’s news of tragedy in Boston reinforces the thought into my heart. This world is hurting and broken and God’s people do well to be near those that have no hope in the midst of that. May the aroma of Christ on His people be found a fragrance of life to those causing death, seeing death, and living death.

Related to these thoughts, things that I think are not helpful in times of unspeakable tragedy:

1) Claiming the “rapture” as a means to escape the chaos of life on earth – I love the hope of His second coming and I find great comfort in it’s certainty. And so I pray that hope and that certainty will keep me here on a messed up earth for as long as God deems it good for the sake of reaching the lost. There will come a time, a moment, a twinkling of an eye and Jesus will break forth upon this earth, but until then “Father, keep my heart abiding in you and keep my feet near those that need help.”

2) Unnecessarily adding to the stereotype of Muslims – Whoever set those bombs should be brought to justice and dealt with (and may they repent and come to faith in Jesus through the process). However, after hearing the testimony of an Iranian brother and sister last weekend and hearing how they have suffered for the cause of Christ, I feel much more hesitant to make broad statements that would propagate hatred stereotypes. I just pray for justice. One day, one day in heaven, I will be worshiping around the throne of Jesus in worship and their will be Iranians and Syrians and all kinds of Palestinians. May my words not cause unnecessary shame to those that suffer far greater for the gospel than I ever dare to know.

One comment

  1. I love the heart of what you are expressing in this circumstance. I too often run from the cross my Lord would have me embrace. As the Lord did, may we not seek to get out of this world but embrace the painful experiences of this world as an opportunity to ease people’s pain and point them to true rest from pain through salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Isaiah 61:1-2 -“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn…”

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