The search for answers to tragedy are never ending. Whether the event is in a little Baptist church, a university campus, or streets where runners are on a marathon, the newscasts portray the heart rending events along with the a typical announcement that authorities are searching for answers. The beasts that are in us keep showing up. Why?
These two little girls are in a nation still recovering from mass genocide, whose effects often take over a generation to overcome. The little boy, however, still has the face of distress, because distress is not limited to horrific events. How do these things happen?
It was not that way in the beginning. God had rendered a “good” assessment on the days of creation and closed the creation period with a “very good” assessment. He does not play with words and does not delude. The work was extraordinary on a planet made to be inhabited. (Genesis 1, Isaiah 45:18). So, how can such evil arise?
We were made so perfect and in his image that it came with complete ability to choose him and his ways or not. Adam and Eve chose badly, and mankind has chosen badly ever since. Sometimes the results are more obvious than others. Mass shooting is really bad. But, is the cultured disdain of the Creator any less? Is the tantrum of a young boy or girl any less when it seems so small and relatively innocent? Here is the verdict from the One who made everything: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19) It is why Jesus never gave himself to men; he knew what was in them. (John 2:24-25) There is no doubt about it: we are broken and need a Savior. Sometimes the brokenness yields ugly tragedy; sometimes the tragedy seems small and inconsequential, but it is tragedy nonetheless. Sometimes good things seem to abound and there are not obvious issues. Then, tragedy shows its face without warning, because the heart untouched by the Creator is desperately in need of fixing.
My wife, Faylene, and I work with younger people quite a bit. Many of them we consider our daughters and sons. We love them. We are called to be with them most of the time in a land far away from the little Baptist church were 26 people were killed. However, we are not deluded about the seed of evil that lies within us, the brokenness of wayward or needy hearts, or the importance of the Life of the Savior to break the power of sin and put peace within. We look at the pictures of our friends when we are not with them and our hearts cry out for them. When they grace our presence, we use opportunities to share of His life, because we know His touch on inward parts is the only way to erase the beasts within. Who knows? Maybe a little touch or talk here or there at the right time might help to avert a terrible event much later. For us, there is no question about why these things happen, but we also speak of the Answer.
Do you know what lies within you? Are you connected to God in a real relationship? If you do not know, then you will, like the newscasters, keep wondering why such things can possibly happen. Consider this: God knows better. He knew from the beginning. We need him to fix out hearts.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”