Watching the news this week has been more upsetting than usual. First there was Boston, and then Texas. So many people killed and maimed. It has been heart-breaking.
We here in Israel had another terror attack of our own—two rockets were fired at our southern resort community of Eilat on Wednesday. Thankfully, no one was physically harmed.
But that’s the thing about terror—even when you don’t suffer physical harm, there’s always the psychological.
I wanted to write this week about just that—the psychological terror. The people of Israel know it well. As do Christians in Nigeria and Christians in Egypt (and across the Middle East, for that matter). And now, sadly, the people of the U.S. are learning it again. It’s that feeling that anything catastrophic can happen at any time, in any place.
You could be watching a marathon. You could simply be at work. You could be at church, on a bus, in a café, at school or in your own home. You can be anywhere, and you live in terror just thinking and worrying about it all the time.
Or, at least that’s what the terrorists want you to do.
They want us to be constantly afraid. They want us to be prisoners in our own homes—or in our minds.
But what we’ve had to learn here in Israel is to not let that happen. We’ve had to learn how to carry on with life, even in the midst of terror.
It’s not easy, and it’s not a perfect science. New Yorkers learned that after 9/11, and now Bostonians will have to learn the same.
Each person finds his or her own way of coping. For me, it’s my faith in Yeshua.
To be honest, I don’t know how anyone without faith in God deals with this issue.
Last November, during "Operation Pillar of Defense," as Hamas was firing rockets nonstop at Israel, I learned this lesson firsthand. I knew the siren could go off at any moment and I’d have to go running to a bomb shelter. I thought about it constantly. It impacted every decision I made every day. I had to plot my daily activities in terms of their proximity to the nearest place to hide.
And when there was no place to hide, like when I knew I had to take a shower or get on a bus, that’s when I needed God the most.
What else is there? You have to be prepared to die. You have to accept the fact that the missile might hit you.
And without God, I just don’t know how I would have gotten through that. He was and is my only hope. If not for my promised salvation in Yeshua and my promise of a life with Him after this life on earth, I would have curled up in a corner and lost all courage to leave my home.
With God, we don’t have to live in fear. With God, we have a reason to get out of bed in the morning and the strength and courage to do so. With God, we have a real understanding of good and evil. With God, we know that even if this life comes to a horrific end, a better one is yet to come. With God, we have faith that He is in control and will sort this whole mess out in the end.
Without God, we have none of that.
I wish I could give my friends in Boston a handy 10-step plan to going on with life after a terror attack. But all I have for you is Yeshua. He is my hope, and I pray you’d make Him yours as well.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Chaim Goldberg is the director of media for Maoz Israel and writes a weekly column for Charisma’s Standing With Israel website.