“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33
I prefer to live in the bright, shiny places of this world. Days of beautiful sunsets, laughs with friends and endless pumpkin spice lattes. But today, it’s just not possible.
This morning my husband woke me to the news of another horrific tragedy, the Las Vegas shootings. Our nation is trying to process an unbelievably violent act that shook us to our cores. As we grieve deeply, we also question.
Why did God allow this tragedy to happen?
Truth is, I don’t know. As a society we are likely to focus on contributing factors. Was the shooter mentally ill? Were drugs or alcohol involved? Illegally obtained firearms? Each of these are important and must be explored. But the root is much deeper.
We must call it. This is a broken, sin-cursed world. And the act was satanic.
I remember when I was a little girl, my father protected me from a dangerous snake. It hissed and threatened to strike, but with one powerful ax swing he cut off the head. Its body thrashed for what seemed like forever. I ran crying, fearful it would come back to life.
Daddy put his arms around me, explaining it was a violent response to being killed. While it was reacting to its demise, its end was forever determined.
Reminding me of another serpent’s head which was struck the death blow long before by the atoning death of Jesus Christ.
Genesis 3:15 recounts the root of spiritual warfare. God cursed the serpent for introducing sin to his creation. But he had the redemptive plan already in place. Christ the Messiah would come to break through the darkness of sin separating us from God.
We still do battle on this earth. But Jesus, through his shed blood to redeem us from sin, has won the eternal war.
It is why, in the darkest of days, we have hope. Hope revealed through Jesus. Hope which cannot be stolen or destroyed, despite the anger of the evil one and those who do his work.
Make no mistake: the massacre of our fellow Americans was a wicked lashing by satan. Yes, he still flails about violently to cause confusion, doubt, and destruction. But he is defeated. His destiny sealed.
Today there is immeasurable heartbreak and many questions, but we can be at peace knowing God has already answered.
I look forward to the days of no bad news. No sorrow or loss. Days of living in the bright, shiny presence of God. In the warmth and comfort of Heaven. But until our last breaths, we have the work of sharing the healing work of Christ with a world desperate for him.
(This post is updated from a previous one in response to the Sandy Hook school shootings).