Like so many others, I found myself sitting in front of my television on Monday night, watching the news organizations play the scenes of the Boston marathon bombing over and over and over again.
Senseless. Startling. Horrific.
And it’s hard to get those images out of our heads. The people running and the rescuers trying to do their best to help and the smoke and the chaos. It’s hard to grasp the damage to people and families and communities. And hard to grasp how God could work in the middle of this unimaginable suffering.
Like God so often does, He had perfect timing with something I’ve been reading. Here is what author Debra Reinstra had to say in her book, “So Much More”, regarding suffering:
“Faced with such terrible sorrows, how do we find a way to go on? Out of the depths of the agonized cries of “Why?” Christian faith again invites us to choose against the futility either of retaliation or self-destruction and to lay our pain instead at the foot of the cross. We are invited to shout or whisper or weep out our cries of pain to God because we know that God, having suffered in the person of Jesus, most especially on the cross, cares and understands. Bringing our suffering to God may not relieve the hurt completely, and it may not take the cause of suffering away. But the promise of the cross for the present is that the quality of our suffering will change because we will find the companionship of Jesus in it. That companionship allows our suffering to take on new shape; the downward slope of death turns to the rising hope of new life. Because Jesus suffered death on the cross, then conquered death through resurrection, our suffering too becomes pliable hope. Our dark caves can begin to crack open and let in that resurrection light”.
Praying that the victims, the people of Boston, and really, all of us, find the promise of the cross and the companionship of Jesus in this dark cave.
Those who sow in tears will reap in joy. Psalm 126:5
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9