Yesterday we heard about yet another senseless and tragic shooting. This time the shooting took place in a small church in a small Texas town. As I write this, I understand that 27 people were killed, ranging in age from unborn to 72 (including the Pastor’s precious 14 year old daughter). Many more were injured. If I understand the story correctly, there would have likely been even more murder and devastation if not for a local man who heard the shooting, grabbed his own gun, and started shooting at the shooter.
Within the past several weeks alone, we have witnessed a tragic mass shooting at a Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, a shooting in a Walmart in Colorado, an Islamic terrorist driving over bicyclists in New York City, and now a horrifying mass shooting in a small Texas church.
These incidents, as tragic as they are, only touch the tip of the iceberg. In our own lives we see more death and destruction than we would care to admit. Dead relationships. Devastating news. Destruction in so many facets of our lives.
Where is God?
He is right here. He is with us. He can be hard to see if we only know about God, and hard to miss if we truly know Him.
If we only know about God, we can become confused. Our experience will often fail to line up with what we think we know or have heard about Him.
If we know God, Himself, we can stand in complete confidence of who He is, in His unfailing love, and in this hope that is an anchor for our soul.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:19-20, ESV)
In the midst of the unfathomable craziness all around us, let us not lose sight of the fact that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God (see Hebrews 4:14).
We have in Jesus a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, and one who has been tempted in every way as we are (see Hebrews 4:15).
In light of this, let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (see Hebrews 4:16).
God is still good! God is still on the throne!
The problem is not with God. The problem is that many people either do not know of this truth, or relentlessly refuse to acknowledge it as truth.
Still, our job as children of God, as followers of Christ, remains the same:
“Go … and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20a, ESV)
The sooner we get serious about doing our job, the sooner these terrible tragedies will go away.
The sooner we get serious about doing our job, the sooner (and more fully) we will personally experience the end of the verse:
“…and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age…” (Matthew 28:20b, ESV)