One year ago today I realized a lifelong dream and finished the Boston Marathon. One hour ago today for tens of thousands of runners and over a million friends and family their dream became a nightmare.

I’ve already received messages from people who are concerned for me. Thankfully, I did not run the Boston Marathon this year so I am safe at home.

The Boston Marathon Explosions

Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon at 2:50 pm today (April 15, 2013) sending everyone nearby into panic and pandemonium. The two huge explosions threw bodies in the air and, along with the loud bangs, sent people everywhere running amid clouds of smoke, screaming and hysterical crying. As I write, medical staff and authorities are doing all they can to help. Early reports indicate that there are at least three people dead, including an eight-year old boy. Another 133 injured people were injured, some were decapitated. Some of the injured were marathon runners who fell to the ground.

A doctor said it looked like a war zone with blood everywhere.

After hearing the news, Kristi and I prayed for the victims and their families, along with all those who are helping. That could’ve been us at the Boston Marathon. The explosions happened when the marathon clock was at four hours and one year ago I finished the race in just under four hours. At last year’s race it was record heat and humidity that sent nearly 10% of the runners needing medical attention or unable to finish. (See my story about my experience, “Humbled by Boston Marathon Heat.”) This year’s Boston Marathon proved to be far more dangerous with what appears to have been terrorist attacks.

Where is God?

Where is God? How could this happen? Why does a loving and sovereign God allow this? Many of us wrestle with these questions. The Psalmist prays in this way too. (For instance, see Psalm 13 which begins like a funeral dirge and ends like a love song to the Lord, even though circumstances haven’t changed.)

There is evil in our world. Satan influences people to choose to do awful things like this. But God is greater! “Greater is the Spirit of Christ that is in us than the evil that is in the world” (1 John 4:4, par).

The angels of the Lord and followers of Jesus  are at work right now, to protect, care, heal, and draw people to the Lord Jesus Christ. God is influencing many, many people of all kinds to help. We need to remember that our Lord is a God who brings good out of evil for those who love and trust in Jesus, though it may not seem like anything good is happening in the visible situation, especially at first.

Standing in the Kingdom of the Heavens with our minds fixed on Jesus, we can see an unseen reality, an eternal perspective. Here we are safe, forever. Here we have an undefeatable source of peace and love to stabilize us personally and empower us to help others. But if we haven’t trained ourselves to live moment-by-moment with Jesus in the Kingdom of God then in stress, and certainly in a crisis like this Boston Marathon explosion, we will find ourselves reacting in fear, anger, or discouragement.

Where is God? He’s on the cross in Jesus Christ, dying for sins. More than that, he is now in Christ who has risen from the dead. Our Lord is alive and at work right now on the scene, loving, helping, redeeming.

This world is a perfectly safe place to be — if we’re with Jesus in the Kingdom of God. (See our articles under Trust God).

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