If you’re like me you couldn’t stop watching the news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. The images and video footage didn’t change but it was hard to turn off the news even when there was no new information coming in. It is difficult to see the injury and chaos of a bombing like this in America. This is not a part of our everyday life. We’re not in Israel. We’re not in Palestine. These things just don’t happen. With no knowledge of who did this and the intentions behind it there is an air of public fear that will most likely remain for the next several days if not weeks.
On many of the video and audio clips that were played over and over have spectators crying out, “Oh my god. Oh my god.” Many of the news reporters sign off with a commitment of prayer for the victims of this tragedy. I do not know each of these news reporters personally, however, I have a hard time accepting the fact that we only cry out to God in situations like these.
There is no doubt in my mind that when we reject God, He steps aside and allows us to go on by ourselves as we please. He is a gentleman. He does not force Himself on anyone who doesn’t wish to have His presence. We have continually rejected God’s presence in every form and fashion. Christians and churches have now been labeled as hate-groups for disagreeing with accepted practices of the general public. Why do we want nothing to do with God until a tragedy occurs? Why is prayer, in any public arena, unacceptable until an unspeakable act of violence or terror happens? After tragedies like this, a very popular question is always posed, “Where is God when these things happen?”
God is where we put Him. God’s presence is not felt because we have asked Him to vacate our lives. God is silent because we have asked Him to be. We cannot hold God accountable for His seemingly apathetic response to our momentary cries for Him because we only demand that He come near in the midst of our pain and suffering. Like a child who only returns home when they need more money to spend on their rebellious and prodigal lifestyle, so too, we have treated our God.
Christians, we must live our lives in full obedience to Christ and point the way so that unbelievers will also desire to follow Him. God has promised His blessing and favor for the nation that honors Him. And thankfully, He is faithful even through our own unfaithfulness.