Lankford: Moving with hope and optimism into the future

Apr. 21, 2013 @ 02:18 PM

The Passover that was initiated in the Old Covenant, specifically in the book of Exodus, was a picture of the passing from death unto life.

Christian churches recently celebrated Easter that speaks of passing over from spiritual death unto spiritual life. Sadly, we have seen death and carnage at the Boston Marathon this past week as innocents were ravaged by a terrorist attack by Muslim militants from Chechnya. When Israel celebrated the Passover in Egypt, blood was placed on the threshold of their homes and the death angel passed over their dwellings.

Thresholds are important as they speak of boundaries. A boundary was crossed this week in Boston as two explosive devices were placed in public view and detonated with reckless abandon.

As I watched the events unfold and a massive manhunt ensue, I realized that a threshold was crossed with these events. Attempts had been made before with the so-called shoe bomber and underwear bomber without success. This time it was different. A level of innocence has been lost as what we have seen unfold in other parts of the world occurred in an American city. This time, without reluctance, it was called terrorism, with the hesitation to indict Islamists removed.

Thresholds have recently been crossed with institutions and even the historic definition of marriage under siege. Boundaries have been redefined with society unsure of what has been and where it is going. So while Jihad may rage in the world from time to time, keeping hope is essential to our emotional and spiritual survival.

Life is pictured as temporal and passing. We are part of a grand design and plan. Some may even call it Providence or the secularists call it evolving. One thing is for sure, life is passing. The events in Boston add to the social events America is experiencing. Change is occurring rapidly and it is unsettling for many. If we look at life as separated from a living God, hope is dim worry settles in and a kid of depression hovers over despairing souls.

The community at Sandy Hook Elementary, theatre viewers in Denver and bystanders in Boston and the residents at the West Texas explosion have had their world devastated. It has shaken the country and chipped away at the hopes of many. In times like these, faith in God and His grace becomes the basis of our hope. How do we move with hope into the future? First, we must see life with realistic eyes.

We are here for a short time. Understanding this keeps life in perspective. Knowing we are here but for a season and that we face a world after this world, keeps a balance. With this in mind, we can hold to the deep conviction that we are included in God’s grand design for His children. When Jesus said,”It is finished” He meant it. The plan for the ages was complete and our future was secured in what He accomplished for and is us.

Secondly, we know we are not alone. Jesus declared, “I am with you always even unto the end of the age.” This is why Jesus sent the promise of the Father, the presence of the Holy Spirit, to be with us on our journey. There is a guiding hand with us to walk us through dark valleys and dim skies. We are not alone.

Also, we have our brothers and sisters in Christ to walk with us through these times. We have our individual lives to live but when tragedy strikes, there is a coming together that binds us with a common faith. It was amazing the see the help that was offered when the explosions occurred in Boston. People forgot their individual agendas and gathered around the wounded to offer help and comfort.

This happened with the Twin Towers and it happens in communities throughout the country when tragedy strikes. Seeing life only through natural eyes can wither hope in many if we allow it. Seeing life with spiritual eyes keeps life in perspective as we realize our limitations and God’s grace in our time of need. 

Finally, we are blessed when we pray for others as we help them carry their spiritual burdens. We pray for the families of the hurting and wounded. And yes, we pray for the people and the families of those who did this. In that we are released from the dangers of bitterness and resentment. So we pray Lord have mercy and give us hope and grace.