Following the Manchester Arena bombing on May 22 which killed 22 people, another terror attack took place at London Bridge and Borough Market at around 10 P.M. Saturday. A white van veered on and off the bridge sidewalk, running over pedestrians, and then three men jumped out of the vehicle and stabbed patrons indiscriminately at the bars and restaurants of Borough Market. 8 people were killed and 48 others injured at the scene.
Reading the news, I suddenly felt that the epidemic of terrorist attacks nowadays is actually another order of catastrophe. Since December there have been four terrorist attacks against the Christian minority in Egypt. And recently, a suicide bombing was carried out at Manchester Arena in England. Before the families of the victims of the Manchester attack were able to deal with their shock and grief, the tragedy was unfolded at London Bridge. The world is really tumultuous and fraught with peril. During these years, wars, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, plagues, floods, droughts, hail and other disasters have struck frequently and endangered our lives. It says in : “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows” (Mark 13:8). The prophecy has been fulfilled. In recent years, as disasters are all around and terrorist incidents keep happening, where is our refuge? Are these natural and man-made disasters giving us the sign that the has already come?
Yesterday when I was looking up some information on a website, I typed the keyword “refuge” into the search bar and hit Enter, and saw some words among the search results:
“You should know that it is the last days now. The devil Satan, like a roaring lion, walks about, searching for people to devour. All manner of plagues are now breaking out and there are many different kinds of evil spirits. Only I am the true God; only I am your refuge. You can only now hide in My secret place, only within Me, and the disasters will not befall you and no calamity will come near to your tent.”
“I am amongst you, I support you and I am your refuge.”
Having read these words, I was surprised, thinking: Men are unable to say this. Only God is our refuge. These words must come from the Holy Spirit! Then I thought of the scriptures: “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction” (Jeremiah 16:19). “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence” (2 Samuel 22:3). The prophets and saints in ages past as well as we Christians today who follow the Lord, have all realized that only God is our refuge. It is true that now is the last days when various disasters are plaguing the world. Every time when calamity or danger comes upon us, it is also the time when we need God’s rescue. The arrival of the disaster will make us hurriedly come before God, because we know that only by depending on God can we receive God’s care and protection. In this light, the repeated disasters are exactly one of God’s methods of saving us. However, we are simply too numb and insentient to realize this salvation. In many cases, we feel afraid and anxious amidst the calamities and earnestly pray to God, asking for His help, care and protection. Yet once the calamities have passed and we live in peace and comfort again, we will put God to the back of our mind and all day think of how to eat and enjoy ourselves in a better way and how to lead a happy and joyful life. We like to stray from God and live freely, doing whatever we want. We believe that we are already worshiping God by going to church on Sundays with our family. But could this really allow us to be protected by God in the disaster? The prophecies about the Lord’s return have basically all come true, which shows that the Lord is very likely to have come. Our utmost priority is to seek where the Lord has appeared to do His work. Only if we keep up with God’s footsteps and meet the Lord’s second coming can we enter the refuge truly and be cared for and protected by God.