Where was God?
You don't have to live in Southwest Virginia to have heard the tragic news. To some across the country, this is another senseless shooting. I may have been too quick to dismiss other like stories that have made national headlines, but this one hits close to home. Literally.
You've heard me say it so many times before. But now I need to make a declaration that doesn't apply to something personally happening to me. It's something affecting so many. I need to share how even now, even in the midst of this reckless and ignorant violence, God is still good.
I had to make myself stop reading some of the comments posted by viewers and naysayers. So many feelings and thoughts, so many questions. What saddened me were the ones misunderstanding a belief in God. The ones who think God planned this. Those who accused God of this being His will. Those mistakenly not understanding God's role in the midst of such a Tragedy.
Let me explain. God didn't plan this. He didn't want this. He didn't cause it. He did allow it. Why, It's reasonable to ask. We may never know. But Him allowing this, meaning He Himself not stopping it or sending someone to stop it, doesn't take away His Sovereignty or the goodness of Who He is. His role in this, in the midst of heartache, confusion, tragedy and chaos is still God. We can't expect those without faith in Him to understand. It's naturally human to question and even blame Him. But He hasn't stopped being God, or good, no matter how great the tragedy.
He gives peace in the midst of the storm. His peace transcends all our human understanding. His presence brings us rest. We are protected under His wing. So where was the protection for the innocent lives lost today? Did He disappear? Take it away? Not love them as much? His will is for no one to perish. But that means He doesn't want anyone to die without knowing Him because this life isn't what we were created for. We are created for Him. His glory. Eternity with Him.
What happened is yet another example of a fallen, depraved, sinful world in desperate need of being saved. But here's the good news. Our Savior already died for you. For me. For every single person who will admit they need a Savior and exchange a sinful life for eternal life. It's a promise. It's truth. And it's for every single one of us.
Where was God? He was there. Watching as lives He created were taken by the hand of another. Grieved by the corruption surrounding the events. Heartbroken over families hurting. He was not surprised or caught of guard. Don't mistake this for it being His will or what He wanted. I tend to think about all the people and incidents He must have sent to try to change a hardened heart. And how He must be even more grieved that all those attempts were ignored and neglected because of the free will He's given each of us to choose. And choose we must. He's asking us to choose Him. To choose His gift of life. Not the temporary life that we strive for here on earth but the eternal life He's created us for. The life with no more tears, no more pain and no more grief or tragedy.
He's here, even in the midst of such confusing tragedy. He brings comfort even when we don't understand. He offers peace when chaos abounds. He's still God. He's still a good God, despite the fallen state of the humanity He's created. As we mourn, as we grapple to make sense of such circumstances, God is there.