When Tragedy Strikes

1 Corinthians 14:33
I woke up happy, wide awake at 6 a.m. when the alarm went off. I didn't even hit snooze. "Mmm...it's Friday!" I thought to myself and I got even happier.

I went about my morning routine. I never bothered to check my phone or even look at social media feeds. I was singing to myself as I got ready, never thinking to turn on the radio as I usually do. I spent the drive into work in prayer so I still had not yet made contact with the outside world.

It wasn't until I arrived at work when a colleague started talking of the overnight tragedy.

"What tragedy?" I asked.

She looked at me stunned that I was completely ignorant and began to share the breaking news.

I am ashamed to admit that even as a former news producer I rarely find time to watch the news. I immediately turned on the radio, began scouring news sites, and caught myself up on the story that everyone was talking about.

A recent discussion in Sunday School lead to our teacher reading headlines and stories straight from the daily paper. It was just a week after the wind storm that devastated our community. We talked of the "end times" and read from Matthew 24:

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. vs. 6-8

It's easy to ask "Why" and wonder how such a tradgic event could happen. It's also human nature to question people, motives and the circumstances that seemlingly tell of more and more darkness. People against each other. Fighting. Hurting. Devastation. Natural disasters. Yet, God's Word tells us not to be alarmed - that these things must happen. How can this be? Why would a good, Sovereign God allow such pain and tragedy?

This isn't a post about free will or the corruption of man. Rather, I simply seek to bring peace in the midst of confusion.

Just because I was unaware of the situation that took place overnight doesn't take away the effects it's having on families, communities and even our nation. It stirs emotions and thoughts in us all. I grieve for those who have lost loved ones. I also think of the family of the shooter. I wonder about him, his past, his life, his family, his experiences, his mental and emotional state and how life got so bad that the best thing he could do to cope was hurt others and destroy lives so greatly.

I can't explain everything. I can analyze all I want but I won't be able to figure it all out. All I can do is pray for those involved and make sure that which concerns me spurs good and not evil. The shock of news like this cannot paralyze us from doing our part to share peace and hope.

Don't let evil get the best of you but conquer evil by doing good. ~ Romans 12:21

However this has impacted you, however you may be coping, remember He brings peace and comfort.

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33
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