My heart is saddened and in shock after yesterday’s events at the Boston Marathon.  To hear the stories, see the pictures, and read the posts makes that sadness deepen.  It feels somewhat surreal as I think about an event that is known to be so pure, unifying, and encouraging is now filled with death, injury, pain, hurt, fear, and anger.  My heart aches for the families and friends of those who died and/or were injured but also for all those who were affected in anyway from this tragedy.

So how do we respond to this? What do we do from here? When I started praying for all those involved I thought on the many things that my mind had heard, seen, or read.  DEATH.  INJURY. PAIN. HURT. FEAR. ANGER.  My sadness quickly turned to anger (the righteous/justice filled kind) as I saw the devil’s name printed all over this.  Who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)? Who desires to make us fearful?  Who thrives off of building up anger and hatred? 

I am reminded once again that we are in a daily battle.  That everything that is pure, holy, noble, good the devil wants to destroy.  I am also reminded that this battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers of this dark world.  It can be so tempting to respond to this tragedy with fear and hate but that is exactly what he (the devil) wants.   I encourage you (me) instead to respond with love. 

Sadly I know this isn’t the last time we’ll hear of a tragedy and/or terrorist attack but I know that Jesus has given us the greatest armor to fight against whatever the devil may throw at us.  We are in a daily spiritual war built on things that we can not see but that affects us deeply.  So stand on the Truth that holds tight around your waist, keep righteousness against your chest, and be ready at all times with the gospel of peace.  Hold your shield of faith to block whatever the devil may try to shoot at you, and know that you have the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit (the Word of God) to fight.  (Ephesians 6:10- 18)

So what are we going to do?  We need to pour out love to all those around us.  We need to pray, pray and pray some more.  And we need to stay alert that whenever we see 'works of the devil'  that we don't let him win but instead but on our armor and fight back.

I have already been so encouraged as I read posts by the many friends who were along that 26.2 mile stretch talking about the outpouring of love and concern they have received.  I am also inspired by the emergency responders and good Samaritans that helped amidst all the chaos around them.  Most importantly I am thankful that we serve a GREAT God that is bigger than any tragedy, that can conquer ANY fear, and that loves us with an unconditional love.

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