It's been only a few days since the news came out about the shooting in Connecticut that took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in the school.
Though we are way out in southern Kansas, half a country away from the East Coast, we feel the affects somewhat of the gunman's actions. Our local schools effective this morning all have police or sheriff's deputies stationed in them, where they had not before. We sat with our children last night and finally discussed what had happened, and prepared them for what may be discussed today, as well as the new officers in the building.
Like most others, I've wondered "what if"--what if it'd been our school, our kids, our lives changed instead of those in Connecticut. I've wondered also what possessed that man to do such a heinous crime. I've heard the questions, like "where was God?" and "why did God allow it to happen?"
After reading and listening to scripture, I think I've got a fairly good answer. You won't hear it on the news, nor read it in the newspapers, but it is truth nonetheless.
First, let me say--don't blame God. God did not do it. God did not tell the young man to kill his mother, steal weapons from her, steal her car, and go to the local elementary school and commit murder there. He was not acting on God's behalf. God welcomed those children home, but He didn't kill them.
God gives us a free will, letting us choose good or evil. He didn't make us into machines. He created a perfect world, and gave us free will to choose right or wrong. He chose to give us that will so that we could choose to love Him freely, rather than being forced. As a parent, would you want your child loving you because he/she was forced to or because he/she wanted to? Same idea. Anyway, since we have free will to choose what we do, we can't blame God when we make bad choices. We can't blame God when someone else chooses to do something that hurts us.
The shooter made his choice. He chose to take the actions he did. God did not tell him to do so. The shooter chose to do evil in the sight of the Lord. God is not the author of chaos. Satan is.
Where was God? He was right where He is, was, and has always been and always will be. He did not move. He didn't leave His throne. He was there to welcome home those children. He was there to welcome any of the adults who knew His Son as Savior. He's there right now to heal broken hearts and lives, if people will let Him in. It is God and His Son Jesus who heals the wounds. Counselors can give ideas, but without God none of them truly work.
What possessed the shooter to do what he did? Satan. The shooter had a choice to follow God through Jesus Christ, or Satan by doing his "own thing" and living his own way. He let himself be influenced by evil, and that evil came through his actions.
We are at a point in time where we as Christians can sense urgency in the world around us. Lawlessness is increasing, murders are on the rise, people more and more turn away from Jesus, more people are turning to their own lusts. The bible tells us that God will let people feed on their own perverse and diverse lusts, with more people going the way of the world, the devil, and the flesh. He is not surprised in what happens in this world. We shouldn't be surprised either.
Instead, we should be on our knees (either physically or at least in heart) praying for people affected. Pray that the Lord would touch their hearts, get through to them before it's too late. Jesus can heal, but He won't if He isn't let into the broken hearts.