This world just sucks sometimes.
In the last couple days, the Las Vegas strip was terrorized by a gunman, the school district I work for was forced to close due to receiving terrifying threats, and a young woman hung herself on an elementary school playground.
I don’t have to list these nightmares. We all know about them. Maybe the ones around your community are slightly different, but we can all agree that terrible things are happening. And we’re all starting to get pretty ticked about it.
It’s in times like these that I think anger is beneficial. Anger at injustice and violence usually leads to actual changes being made. When pushed hard enough, people tend to stop talking and start taking action.
But anger can also divide us.
I don’t know what changes should be made. I’ve seen the arguments on Facebook, every argument from protesting during NFL games to gun control. And I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is.
“There’s going to be evil in the world until Jesus returns,” you might say. And I agree with you. But does that mean we don’t try to do something? Shouldn’t we try to make it a little better, a little more peaceful, instead of going at each other’s throats because our opinions are different?
I don’t know the answers.
I know my heart is tired, though.
“Where’s God in all this,” I want to ask. People echo my concern; I hear people asking, “What is happening,” or “What else can happen this week?” And I want to tell them God has it under control. But that’s hard to do when terrible thing after terrible thing happens, when all we see is death and destruction.
Where is God in all this? Why does He allow a man to open fire on defenseless people? Why does He allow schools and churches to be places that now hold easy targets? How can a loving God let this happen?
I don’t know.
I mean, I can tell you the stuff I know in my head. I could give you the theological answer I’ve heard my whole life or show you the paper I’m sure I still have from college discussing God’s sovereignty.
However, even though I wrote a paper about it, I still don’t quite understand. And maybe I never will. There are some things about God that just work that way. I don’t think little human brains can comprehend everything about God and who He is. I mean, this Guy knows everything! He knows about each individual hair on everyone’s head (Matthew 10:30). I don’t even know where I set my coffee mug half the time.
So, maybe I don’t have an answer. Maybe I can’t really explain why God lets these types of tragedies happen.
But there are two things I know without a shadow of a doubt to be true: God is love and God is just.
Love and justice make up the very character, the very essence of who God is. He cannot not be just, and He cannot not be loving. Everything that He does is driven by love and justice. If I believe those two things, then I can trust that everything He does is loving and just. He can’t be just without love, and He can’t love without being just.
I may not totally understand why God does what He does. His thoughts are too advanced, to vast for me to even attempt to comprehend. But as long as I trust in His love and His justice, I know that everything will be okay. I know I can trust Him to show justice and show love, even when I don’t understand what is happening.
That’s just who God is.
It’s been a hard week for a lot of people, and our hearts are heavy, but I pray that this might bring you some comfort tonight. Lean on one another, pray for each other, and seek to take action if you can. Keeping on loving people and loving one another. Be a beacon of gentleness and peace in this crazy world.
And please don’t forget that you can turn off the TV. You can step away from the Internet. I’m not sure it’s emotionally or mentally healthy for us to have this much tragedy exposed to us all the time. Don’t be afraid to take a break from the constant updates and stimulation. Give your soul time to rest.
Also, here are some cute puppies to make you smile: