Being an avid Facebooker, I have read many things concerning the recent tragedy that struck Newtown, Connecticut. I came to the conclusion that Americans are wonderful, kind, loving folks that sincerely want to help during times of great adversity. I have never read so many calls for love and kindness and prayers before. So I thought it was important to offer comfort to people who are still reeling from the effects of what happened to those innocent children (and adults).
When I first heard about the calamity that befell Newtown, I immediately and obviously recognized the evil behind the attack. What I didn’t expect were the people’s reactions to my supposedly obvious posts. I got the feeling that somehow the mention of evil is offensive and upsetting and that maybe people would rather conclude that evil doesn’t exist (as a popular self-help teacher, teaches…). Of course, many people believe in God but amazingly that belief doesn’t always acknowledge evil. In fact, it seems in our world today that God vaguely gets the credit for both the good and the bad. I suppose that is logical if you take away the existence of evil. But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Evil is alive and well in our world and although it has done a masterful job of hiding itself, it is a reality we must deal with. Evil is behind every terrible thing that has ever happened to a person. Now that certainly doesn’t mean that wonderful, little children did something to deserve what happened to them by any stretch of the imagination; no more so than a person ever deserves to be robbed, mugged or raped. But evil, seizing opportunity takes advantage of the unknowing and unsuspecting. Evil, as a parasite hides in error and wrong logic. Evil gets to people not because they are bad and deserving, but rather because they are unaware. That is why the adversary works so hard to conceal himself. God said that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. What you don’t know can hurt you!
Understandably, many folks called for gun control and reform. And, it seems that certain changes truly are in order. But, I can assure you that we are never going to reform society by enacting laws or by making new regulations. We can outlaw and we can punish, but the evil behind the attacks suffers from neither. In fact, God says that the world is going to become worse and worse. That wonderful utopia where evil doesn’t exist is reserved for our future. But for now, you and I are not going to change the world. However, we CAN change our own lives and the lives of the ones that we love. We can live above the evil in the world and find out how to not be subject to it. It’s not just life, folks! It’s not just the way it is. We have been so schooled and unwittingly trained to accept the bad things that we somehow think that is what life is. Now that doesn’t mean that the enemy hasn’t tricked me before or gotten to me and my family! What it means is that we CAN learn about the great spiritual competition that we are all in (whether we choose to participate or not) and can learn how to win more consistently. God certainly hasn’t left us without answers. But an understanding of God and the spiritual world have become so obscure to most folks that they just don’t know what to think. That’s not a criticism, that’s just how the adversary has arranged things.
The beginning of our understanding is to know without any doubt that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. God doesn’t do evil to people. God doesn’t call people home in the middle (or beginning) of their lives. God’s people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. The same way you couldn’t expect to be victorious in the football game without knowing your opponent, you cannot expect to win at life without knowing your spiritual opponent (or at least how he functions). God wants you to know. God doesn’t want you to be afraid ever! God wants to protect you, but He is hindered by you (or at least by what you or your parents believe). People ask in anger, “Why doesn’t God protect the innocent children if He is so loving?” ~ A fair question… The answer is that He cannot protect anyone unless they believe what He says and most folks (adults) don’t really know what He says. Oh sure, they know He exists; they talk to Him; but what does He promise and do they really believe it? Most often that answer isn’t clear. Again not a criticism, but rather a reality. Others demanded, “Why does God allow bad stuff to happen if He is so good?” ~ Another fair question… That might best be understood by asking this question, “Why do you as a parent allow your kids to do bad stuff? The obvious answer is that you don’t control your child’s free will. You teach them the best you can. They hear some stuff and disregard much stuff and then go out and learn the hard way. God simply will not overstep our free will, no matter what. Free will is sovereign. The angels have it. Jesus has it. You and I have it. Imagine how much it hurts God’s heart to hear those things when he has never done anything but love people. You may have heard otherwise, but trust me, the possibility of darkness in God goes against everything the Bible teaches.
Now I realize that some of these things I’ve offered go against what you have been taught. Some things may just downright piss you off. But that’s not my aim here tonight. My sincere desire is to offer you the promise that you can learn and understand and that you can live above fear and disaster and tragedy. The world is a very scary place, but even more so without spiritual understanding. You can send your children out into the world without any fear about what might happen because you know that God is taking care of them. You can learn to listen when God talks to you (as you would expect from a loving Father) and receive those necessary clues to help you avoid pain and loss.
So, as we continue to pray for those wonderful people in Newtown, Connecticut, remember that God is love and wants to heal not only their hearts but the hearts of every person that has ever suffered in this world. He wants to heal you too!
I hope you receive those words as, “Just Some Good Thoughts…”