The vicious bombings in Boston on Monday. The terrible explosion in West, Texas just two days later. It’s no wonder one of my friends posted a Facebook status asking if anyone could brighten her day with any “SUPER AMAZING” news; the world, after all, seems to grow darker with every sunrise.
If you’re a follower of Christ, then you are probably familiar with – and perhaps a little frightened by – Jesus’ prophecy of wars, violence, earthquakes, famine, pestilence, and the persecution of His followers greatly intensifying in nature and frequency before His return (Matt. 24:6-13). It’s no wonder another one of my friends posted a Facebook status simply praying with precious childlike faith, “Jesus, please hurry.”
With all the chaos, all the attacks, all the uncertainty hovering like dense, unyielding fog over the countryside, certainly no one could be blamed for humbly bowing before God with the question, “Why? Why are things seemingly falling apart?”
I read an article earlier today on the Huffington Post about the Boston tragedy and was struck by the following paragraph:
“The attack may have been timed for maximum carnage: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.”
Immediately, Hebrews 12:1 came to mind, a verse President Obama recently quoted when speaking about the bombings:
“ … since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” –Hebrews 12:1, NIV
I am one of those who has asked God “why?” And one of the answers I believe He has revealed to me is simply this: The devil knows his days are numbered.
I know that Satan is not omniscient as God is, nor is he omnipresent. He is a prowling lion, ever on the move strategizing, attacking, and commanding his evil armies and appointing them to various peoples, nations, leaders, and families throughout the earth (1st Pet. 5:8, Eph. 6:12, Lev. 19:31). But Satan is also an ancient serpent who has been tempting, deceiving, and oppressing God’s people since his forked tongue tickled Eve’s ears with the tantalizing “knowledge of good and evil” (Rev. 20:2, Gen. 3:5). He also knows the Bible well enough to quote Scripture, which you can read about in his dialogue with the promised Messiah during Christ’s forty days in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). Suffice it to say, while the devil is doomed, he isn’t dumb; he knows Jesus is returning and that the Lake of Fire is being heated up, if you will, right now, just for him (Rev. 20:10).
With the sands of time swiftly sliding into the lower bulb of the ultimate hourglass, it makes sense to me that Satan is doing all he can to cause all hell to break loose on the earth…literally. As the world grows darker, the Church also shines brighter (a fact we mustn’t forget). Like the marathon runners on Monday approaching the finish line to the sounds of deadly, hate-motivated explosions after accomplishing months of incredible discipline and training and 26.2 miles, we are also running – no, sprinting – to the end of this age.
The saints who have died before us – friends, family, the first disciples… – are all watching this race, cheering us on as the spectators were rooting for the runners in Boston. Bombs blast, sickness shakes, earth quakes, and still we’re called to persevere knowing we are “more than conquerors” through Jesus Christ.
My friend who asked for some sunny news on Facebook received numerous uplifting comments and photos, but my favorite was this, simple yet powerful:
“Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love.” –John 15:9-10, MSG
How comforting to know that we are part of God’s family, co-heirs with Christ and citizens of heaven (Rom. 8:17, Phil. 3:20). No matter how bad it gets outside our earthly homes, throughout this swirling sphere of dust, the Father of Light and Love and Justice reigns forever from a place where moth and rust cannot destroy and where all tears will soon be wiped away (Matt. 6:19, Rev. 21:4). Praise God for the blessed hope we have in Jesus’ glorious appearing, this time not as Lamb and Suffering Servant, but as Lion and Conquering King (Titus 2:13). Amen!
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” –Revelation 21:4