And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. (Psalms 22:1, 2 ESV)
I was sitting in my office Monday afternoon, and as a runner I was watching Facebook, trying to see updates about the few people I knew running it, and cheering them on from my office. At 2:33 pm I got a text, “say prayers for people in the Boston area and marathon.” My heart sank and I waited for the news to load on the web. The sinking turned to shock as I read the headlines, “Explosion at finish line of Boston Marathon.”
Then the questions, what happened? Who would do this? And as a Christian, God why? How could you? During times of pain and challenge Christians often will share Romans 8:28 with one another, telling one another to look for the silver lining of God in the midst of their hurt. Although well-intentioned, imagine talking to the family of the 8 year old boy needlessly killed in the explosions, and telling them, it’s all part of God’s plan, he will work it out. At best it would be callous, at worst, insensitive and offensive. During times of tragedy like this we often seek to share witty proverbs, or verses to explain away the hurt and pain and confusion we feel. But it’s not biblical.
Open the book of Psalms and you will read prayers from people in deep trials, depression, and war, as well as joy and exuberance. The psalms model honesty in our prayers. God is not afraid of your hurt, or confusion, or anger. If anything God welcomes our honest prayers, he welcomes us to turn to Him on good days and bad. God welcomes us to bring yourself, all of yourself, to Him in honest prayer, even in the midst of unthinkable challenges and trials.
1. Take time before you close this to pray for those in the Boston tragedy, and others in the midst of challenges and trials.
2. Which of the 2 verses above best illustrate where you are at today? Why?