If the LORD had not been on our side -
let Israel say-
if the LORD had not been on our side
when men attacked us,
when their anger flared against us,
they would have swallowed us alive;
the flood would have engulfed us,
the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters would have swept us away.
Praise be to the LORD,
who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
out of the fowler's snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
This was once my praise. What a precious psalm this has been to me ever since my life was so close to being taken away. We discovered the intentions of the shooters at Columbine high school, and realized that there were bombs planted directly beneath us that weren't detonated. Cowering below our desks, we watched the shooters walk past our classroom door and toss a bomb into the room next to us. We sat next to a dieing man for four hours who perished after we were finally evacuated at gun point... And i carried a great guilt for surviving that day. I carried that guilt for a very long time. And then this passage, this song of David, became my song. When other's asked, "how could God let this happen?", i wondered, "why did he save me?".
The events of yesterday have me thinking on that day. I want to say "those days" because the pain and healing and repercussions of that single day lasted years.... And i hurt terribly for my friends at New Life church and those of YWAM just north of my hometown. News like this always hits a little close to home and saddens me greatly. But this, even more, as i know the people involved and i can see the place, and picture it all from my memory. And i know the pain and difficulty in healing from surviving a terrible thing.
Yesterday during lunch, Landon and i had a discussion about evil (as he is the resident expert on the metaphysics of this issue). I'm not sure if we agree that people are inherently evil - i tend to think that they are inherently good, but have the capability of being truly evil if they are persuaded to by an evil power. But that has always been a fault of mine - my steadfast hope of good and trust in others...
If it were a year ago, the shootings Sunday would have persuaded me even more that God had abandoned them as he has so many others. Yet, last Sunday i realized a truth that is so deep and simple, i am so ashamed to not have clearly understood. As Christ's suffering on the cross was more than his physical pain, his true torture was being separated from God. Only in separation from God, could Christ carry and atone for the sins of the world - for one that is God must be separate from sin. And so i see, that Christ was abandoned by God (for that short time) in order that we never again would be. And this is the truth that i understand and cling to. As Christ said, "in this world you will have trouble. but take heart! i have overcome the world...and I am with you always..." (John 16, Matt 28).