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It’s hard to believe what we were seeing on television. Three people dead and scores injured as two bombs went off during the Boston marathon. Just like many people around the world we followed what happened in the next few days with awe until it ended with the death and capture of the two suspects, respectively.
For my wife and me it was a bit personal as were just in Boston less than a year ago. Our daughter and her husband had just moved near Boston to take up their new jobs. We visited them for a couple of weeks of fellowship and to get some time off from work and the ministry. They treated us to a few wonderful days in Boston. We went around the city mostly by walking following the freedom trail. We were especially blessed to see the church were the earliest American missionaries were sent. On the last day, we made the obligatory visit to Harvard and MIT campuses. We were especially pleased to see the school of divinity at Harvard where many giants of the faith studied in the past.
And so the Boston bombing and its immediate aftermath felt more real to us having walked the very streets where it happened. We had a similar experience in 9/11 which occurred a few years after we visited the twin towers in New York City. Even closer to home, I was in a Jakarta hotel about ten years ago when a bombed exploded in another hotel not too far away, killing many.
Reflecting upon these, it dawned on me how fragile life is. Having walked in the very same places struck by tragedy, I realized that we could have been one of the victims if those happened when we were there. Which brings us to the reality that it is God who gives and preserves our life. And it is only He who can take it away… in His time.
Job was right when he confessed centuries ago, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21).