What Do We Do Now?
The mention of this city conjures up much emotion right now—everything from heartbreak for the families who have lost a loved one to anger at the evil that triggered the tragedies. No words can describe how we should react to a situation like this. The instinct to #prayforParis as many have had is good. God truly is the only answer for a situation like this. He knows how to comfort hearts, restore families, and heal bodies.
Now, there is something you can do beyond praying for those affected by this act of terrorism: Don’t be afraid. Fear is exactly the response terrorists want. Instead, remember that God has prepared a place of peace for those who abide in His “secret place.” Take a look:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. (Psalm 91)
God is a good God, and He wasn’t surprised by what happened this past week. That may sound like He could have prevented the tragedy, but it actually doesn’t mean that. Here’s why: If God’s purpose was to ensure goodness, you and I would be nothing but robots. God has chosen to limit humanity’s experience to our own free moral agency. Because God gave us the opportunity to choose, people have the opportunity to choose evil; that’s why bad things happen.
So what can we do now? Go to God’s “secret place.” Be found in our Heavenly Father. Pray for those who need comfort and peace; pray for our leaders to have wisdom. More than anything, trust God. Trust His Word. Trust His love. When you base your life on these things, you will find an unparalleled place of peace and comfort from which you can live your life.