“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”
The explosions this week at the Boston Marathon have shaken our hearts and minds. We have been awakened again to the terrible reality that evil lurks here and there in this world. It’s a tragedy. It’s scary.
As Christians we respond as best we can through prayer and compassionate action. Pray for peace. Give blood. Pray for justice. Thank a police officer for serving. Pray for forgiveness. Donate to the Red Cross. Pray for guidance as you grieve. Donate clothes, gifts cards, and food to the Salvation Army. Pray.
The question that skulks through our minds tends to be, “Where is God?” It’s a difficult question. But, I think that Psalm 46 gives us a clue. The psalm says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” When the earth shakes or when we are rocked by tragedy look and see where help comes from. You might see God.
After the Newtown tragedy and again this week a quote from Mr. Rogers has gone viral. The quote says, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother always said to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
Just after the bombs went off this week, the helpers jumped into action. Some of these helpers had just run 26 miles. At the end of most marathons you see people either collapsing at the finishing line or walking gingerly to embrace loved ones after the race. Yet, by the grace of God these marathoners caught their breath and began tearing back the barrier between the road and the crowd to get to the wounded. Police and first responders leapt into action to direct the effort. The terror of this act cannot be undone, but the response of the people in Boston is a light in great darkness.
God has not promised us a life free of trouble and suffering. But, God has promised to be a present help in trouble. Paul writes in Romans 8, “In everything God works for good.” God is in the reaction — inspiring courage, rousing generosity and grieving with us. God is our refuge and strength. As the bombs went off Monday, God’s was the first heart to break.
“God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.” ~Psalm 46