If you have turned on the news lately, you have seen countless acts of violence in varying degrees. A mad ex-boyfriend shoots at his ex and takes down a couple others in the process. Marathon runners are struck down by explosions moments after celebrating a major accomplishment. Even schools are no longer safe from acts of terrorism.
When someone attacks our nation, whether on a small scale or as a whole, we have a choice to focus on the evil that they are doing or we can choose to see the good that it brings out in others. By giving attention only to the evil-doer, you are giving them what they crave which only adds fuel to their fire. Besides, what difference does it make which terrorist group they belong to? Or what their childhood was like? Do we really want to know how their minds work?! However, if you take the talks away from the who, what and why that caused the attack and turn the news feed into stories of victory, then the good trumps the evil.
If you are like me, the constant negativity in the news is just too much to bear. I would much rather hear the stories of what good is coming out of the horrible situation.
Tell me more about the ordinary spectator who becomes a hero in an instant as they shield another’s body with their own.
Show me images of first responders who are running in while everyone else is running away.
Replay stories of the victims and the history of their lives rather than that of the attackers.
I was reading in Psalms the day after the second Boston bomber was captured. The non-stop news coverage was exhausting. All the reporters were going on and on about how now we can find out why they did it, if they were a part of a bigger scheme and so on. I was growing increasingly frustrated. Then I read these words:
“The wicked conceive evil;
they are pregnant with trouble
and give birth to lies.
They dig a deep pit to trap others,
then fall into it themselves.
The trouble they make for others backfires on them.
The violence they plan falls on their own heads.”
(Psalm 7:14-16 NLT)
There you have it folks. Why should we worry and fret over the evil that runs rampant throughout our world when we are already guaranteed the victory. We will suffer here for a little while, but the Lord will have the final say. He will crush the enemy and all his evil works will be turned back onto him. Those who do evil will be repaid the same and those who love righteousness will be rewarded.
So while the majority of media outlets focus on the bad guy, you focus on God and the good that He brings out in people during times of tragedy. Don’t let the negativity consume you and make you bitter. God is still at work even amongst the devastation but it’s up to you to look for and be the light amid the darkness.
**EDITED after initial post**
Ok…so I’m reading “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young and I have to share this excerpt as it relates to my post from this morning. This is God or “Papa” speaking:
“Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”
Seriously, just wow.