“Peace on earth, good will to men,” the angels proclaimed.
“Do not fear, for lo, I am with you always,” comforted Jesus.
Televisions everywhere carried the horrifying news of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The internet buzzed with accounts of terror. Vile. Repulsive. Appalling images of a world gone crazy.
I gazed at the nativity scene nestled beneath our Christmas tree. Its serenity whispered hope to me, but the television screamed fear and gut-wrenching sorrow. Yet, the scene of my Savior’s birth is as real to me as the gruesome scenes from Sandy Hook where the lives of precious children were snatched away. How can I resolve the disparity here? How can you? Why do bad things happen to good people?
I don’t know that I have the answers, but I do have some thoughts.
There is a pat answer among Christian circles: We live in a fallen world. Yes, that is true. And yes, to some degree, that is the answer to beat all answers…our world is full of sin. But, somehow, that answer does not satisfy me. Some questions need more than a pat answer.
This is what I know: My God is sovereign. My God is good and faithful. My God is eternal. We are physical beings living in a physical world, but our GOD is all about eternity. Every moment of every day is monumental to us. Every moment of every day is important to the Lord because it concerns us, but our days and the circumstances therein are but a snap of His fingers. His primary concern is that we spend eternity with Him in close, intimate fellowship. The fallen children of Sandy Hook Elementary School are now with Him. These parents and families are surrounded by His love. Was His Presence known in Sandy Hook on Friday morning? I think so. I believe His ministering angels held each of these children as they passed from this sin-filled earth into the waiting arms of their Heavenly Father. I believe He wept. I believe the power of His Presence penetrated the evil snare harboring Adam Lanzo’s heart and begged him to yield to the Father’s love. But the shooter would not. That’s the thing about our God. We all have free will. The shooter chose his free will that day.
This is what I know: Our God promises to work everything for our good when we love Him and are called according to His purposes. Everything. Even evil when it comes against His children. This I know.
In Deuteronomy 1:31, Moses is reminding the children of Israel of God’s goodness and faithfulness, even in the bad times, “and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son…”
In our darkest moments, God reveals Himself in clear details. His tender mercies flow from His love into the desperate places of His people. His mercy brings hope. And life. And peace. His shadow covers and shelters us from the brutal storms that rage against us. I have learned that when we walk close with the Lord, the darkness immediately surrounding us is but the shadow of His wing because His Presence is so near.
This I know: The Lord our God holds us until our hearts beat as one – until our hearts reverberate with the strength to face a new day.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to be comforted and encouraged as Natalie Grant sings her infamous song, “Held”.
This is beautiful, Nan. All around me sounds of "why? Why did this happen?" I do not know why but God does. He has a purpose and plan for everything and everyone. We may not understand it now but one day we will. I believe God was in that school also. I have to believe that. Jesus was comforting those little children and the teachers as evil prevailed. This is a sad sad situation. Someone asked me about the shooter, Adam and asked if his diagnosis of Autism had anything to do with this terrible act. My response was "I do not believe autism had anything to do with what he did. Satan is walking and is trying very hard to win over hearts of the troubled, the innocent, the good. We must keep God close to us at all times. Within our hearts. This is what we must do as children of God to keep away the evil that is let loose upon this earth." Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Once again, you make people think and that is what an excellent writer does.
Thank you Christina. You are a very wise woman. Love you!
Nan, I loved this post. Christina is right; we don't know why now, but one day we will. Love you so much!
It's so hard to understand things like this…so hard. But I do trust the Lord and can rest in His sovereignty. Love you Jamie girl.
This video is a perfect reminder that we're never alone, regardless of what we're going through. Thank you.
Vonda, this is one of those videos that is a milestone in my walk with the Lord. Several years ago, "Held" opened my eyes to understand God's love in a new way. It changed me forever. Thank you for stopping by.
Love the post!
Thanks Mary Jane. This was a hard one to write. It' my prayer that it might help someone who is grappling with this tragedy and trying to find God's heart in the middle of it. I'm so glad you stopped my. Christmas blessings to you!