Sri Lanka, Bombings, and God

I woke up in the water,

trying to make my way to safety.

All I could remember was the feeling of my foot slipping

as my hands reached out a little too late,

unable to grasp anything that could keep me from going under.

Wet rocks don’t make a firm foundation,

and I had trusted in the wrong one.

Dreams can seem so real.

So this morning as I started my daily reading,

and the words,

“He will not allow your foot to slip,”

were in the first five lines of the chapter,

I paused.

I knew my foot had just slipped in my dream,

and I knew it has slipped many times in real life too.

The passage goes on to say,

“The Lord will protect you,

the Lord is a shelter right by your side.”

I think of Sri Lanka.

Where was God on their Easter morning?

It’s moments like these that get me the most.

People dying as they worship the One whose Word says,

“The Lord will protect you from all harm.

He will protect your life.”

Psalm 121:7

I wish I could find an easy answer this morning,

but I can’t.

God and bombings.

They just don’t match.

But neither do God and cancer

or any other life-threatening illness or event.

So what do I do this morning?

It’s the day after Easter.

Jesus has risen from the grave,

but bombs have gone off in churches on the other side of the world.

Image result for sri lanka

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/sri-lanka-bombings-witness-describes-chaos-in-aftermath/

How do I make sense of this news?

I can’t turn my back on God now.

He’s carried me so far,

so I have to believe He carried all who loved Him

straight into His arms yesterday.

And the ones who survived –

I believe He’s still carrying them today.

“I lift my eyes to the hills.

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of Heaven and Earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2

Their help comes from Him as they cry out for answers.

I cry out for them too.

And I know He hears our prayers.

My foot slipped in my dream this morning,

and I fell into quickly moving water.

I spent the rest of my dream

trying to figure out a way back to safety.

And this morning,

I’ve tried to find a way back to God’s love

in the midst of news that feels so far from it.

Maybe I’m looking at it all wrong.

That’s so easy for me to do in my human mind.

_____________________________________________

God didn’t allow my foot to slip.

A wet rock did.

And God didn’t cause the bombings.

Evil people did.

Jesus, the very Son of God,

told his disciples,

“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away.

  They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.

They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 

 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” John 16:1-4

 He ends this chapter with the words,

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

 In this world you will have trouble.

 But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

He warned them of the very thing that happened yesterday,

so they would find their peace not in this world,

but in Him.

Jesus

He’s the only place to find peace this morning,

the day after bombings have dominated the headlines on Easter day.

In the end, evil will not win.

Jesus has already overcome the world.

Justice will come.

In His time.

So today,

I step into a world filled with trouble,

trusting in the One who has already conquered every kind of death.

He does protect my life –

eternally.

And even though it often feels as if I’m trying to pull myself back to safety,

I know He’s there,

arms extended.

Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy.

Psalm 61:1-3

(Today’s reading was from Psalm 18, 35, 54, 63, 121, 124, 125, 123, 126, 129, 130, and I Samuel 28 – 31 and I Chron. 10.)

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