They are both relentless.
The Chicago area is flooded today. Rivers and rain water intruded into streets, back yards and houses. Sump pumps valiantly ejected water from below the foundations of houses and buildings, but they did not always keep up.
This morning our neighbor had a sump pump failure, so we helped her stay ahead of the water seeping into her sump while waiting for a plumber to fix the inoperative pump. It was stressful. (Especially with the backup pump alarm audibly expressing our anxiety.)
After the sump pump adventure, I felt a similar reaction to the surging level of evil in our world screaming at me from the front page of today’s newspaper.
Rising water and escalating evil are relentless.
In spite of diligent security, a terrorist succeeded in seeping into the crowd at the Boston Marathon finish line. The resulting explosion at a classically American competitive event in Boston on Patriot’s Day was a challenge to the very foundations of our country. A factory exploded in Texas. Suspicious. Poisoned letters. Weird.
If you’ve ever fought against rain water, you know the answer to that question.
Today’s experience with relentless rain demonstrates three truths about escalating evil:
We can and should protect our homes against heavy rains, but unrelenting water will eventually find a way in. Thankfully, the rain stopped this morning, our neighbor’s sump pump is operational, and her basement is dry. But if the rain had been heavier we would not have been able to keep up. Likewise, evil will never give up.
- Only God is powerful enough to fully protect us. Sandbags and sump pumps and carefully placed downspouts will keep water under control for a while, but only God can stop the rain. Similarly, governments, laws, security plans, and community efforts are all helpful in containing evil, but it is escalating at rates that we cannot defend against indefinitely. God is our ultimate protection, and we are foolish to fight against or without Him.
- Responding to relentlessly rising waters brings people together and exposes goodness. Neighbors help neighbors. Good and honest plumbers provide prompt and fair service. The nation unites in prayer, support and practical assistance for those who have suffered loss in Boston and in Texas and in the flooded Midwest. Darkness cannot extinguish light; it’s the other way around.
Evil is relentless, but God is more powerful.
Evil is relentless, but it exposes much good.
Ultimately, God will stop the rain.
“I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'” Psalm 91:2