Yesterday’s events in Boston were horrifically tragic. What should have been a scene of celebration – the finish line of an historic race – was turned into a violent reminder that enemies of our nation seek to destroy our people. What should have been a scene of victory, joy and laughter was turned into a crisis flooded with panic, tears and blood. Three people were killed and over 170 were injured. Among the dead is an eight year old boy. What did those three do to deserve death? Why was such a young child robbed of his life in its infancy?
Moments such as these are extremely difficult, and questions like these are impossible to answer. Bad things happen. We live in a fallen world afflicted with constant pain and sorrow as a result of The Fall. We will never know the cause of grim events like those in Boston yesterday until we reach our final resting place and see the Glory of the Father for ourselves, but we can rest assured in the meantime that – despite any appearances – God will work good through all situations. His Word says that “…all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Our job is not to question His Word in times of turbulence; our job is to hold His Word above our circumstances, whatever they may be. Those who lost their lives beat us to paradise, and those of us who remain must do all that we can to help the people around us.
So what can we do? If you are in Boston, you can volunteer to spend time with grieving families and help local churches in any way possible. You can offer housing to people stuck in the area. If you are in the Northeast, you can give blood. No matter where you are, you can pray. You need to pray. Your prayers matter. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Pray for survival for victims who are still in critical condition after yesterday’s bombings. Pray for physical healing for anyone hit with shrapnel. Pray for comfort for the families of those who lost their lives. Praise God for the courage exhibited by the men and women in uniform who responded after the attack, and for everyone who works hard every day to protect our cities and our nation.
Yesterday happened, and we cannot undo it. But we can pray for our cities. In Genesis 18:16-33, Abraham gives us a stunning example when he intercedes for Sodom. He pleads with God, asking, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?” (v. 23-24) In response, God promises protection for Abraham’s loved ones. As a result of Abraham’s plea, God stays his hand against the city of Sodom and affords protection to all the righteous within its borders. We must plea with our God and ask Him to protect the righteous in our cities, knowing that we are Abraham’s seed (Gal 3:29) and promised the same audience he was given.
In Psalm 91, God tells us not to fear terror and promises protection to His children. Pray for our cities, and pray for peace. Pray for Boston.
-by Pastor Mike White