But understand this, that in the last days perilous times will come, for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, hardhearted, unforgiving, backbiting, without self-control, brutal, hating what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.2 Timothy 3:1-4
I’ve been thinking about the mass shootings happening lately. My heart goes out to all who were affected and grieving. The families who have lost loved ones tragically: children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends I pray for you and your families. May God comfort you and give you the strength needed to go through this extremely difficult time. I also pray for the peace of God to consume you and give you rest when you need it most.
I know a thing or two about tragic loss that makes you question everything, especially God. We get mad at God for allowing this to happen to us. Some of us even turn away because, in our minds, we think, What kind of God allows something like this to happen? Why God? Where was their protection? Why didn’t you stop this?
These are some of the questions I had as well. I was devastated. I was heartbroken for my children and angry that God would allow this to happen to us. I blamed myself for my shortcomings, and I felt like it was my fault for not being a better mother.
There is a reminder I put on my phone a few years ago that still comes up every day. Proverbs 3:5-6 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths“. Staring at this verse every day, I thought, “what does this have to do with what I’m going through right now?” I thought I was, trusting God to keep my child safe, so what happened? In the latter part of verse 5, we are told not to lean on our understanding.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.Isaiah 55:8
Well, I wanted to understand!
The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance something I heard a mother say back in 2001 after her nine-year-old son died on the plane that went down outside Pennsylvania on September 11. This mother acknowledged that her heart breaks for the loss of her child, she didn’t understand why this happened, but she reconciled that God gave him as a gift to her. In other words, he didn’t belong to her; she was raising him for God.
It also made me think about what our Heavenly Father must have felt to see His only begotten son Jesus, beaten, scourged, mocked, spit on, and finally, crucified by those He loved and chose to be their God.
I think of all people who have lost children and loved ones to violence. Because of their skin color, ethnicity, social status, political affiliation, and religious affiliation, so someone could flex their muscles of power over another they deemed not worthy.
Brothers and sisters, remember that there is nothing new under the sun. I hate that I have to say it this way because it sounds harsh, cruel, and insensitive. My intention is not to offend but to get you to look at what is happening with undiluted eyes. We have turned our backs on our God, the creator of heaven and earth. As a nation, we are a lawless and wicked people.
It’s all about us as individuals. We put too much importance on ourselves. We idolize ourselves and have no compassion for others. If it doesn’t affect us, then we don’t care. We don’t love justice until it’s us or someone we love. We don’t treat others as we would want to be treated. Instead of agreeing to disagree, now we hate each other. We are all divided by things that don’t even matter.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.James 4:1-4
Here we are, in 2022, our loved ones murdered in the streets, classrooms, grocery stores, movie theaters, and churches, but we continue in our wickedness and lawlessness. We cry out, “God bless America!” when a tragedy occurs, but we don’t live according to his word, nor do we believe it. How can we expect God to bless a nation that has thrown him aside and chosen the world and idols over Him?
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.2 Timothy 4:3-4
We need to repent! Turn away from wickedness and seek the Lord. Time is running out! If you die in your sin, unrepentant and separated from God, in the words of Bugs Bunny, “that’s all folks!”
I still don’t know why my son’s life ended in such a violent and tragic way, but what I do know is that God is still in control. I do not have it all figured out, but I will stand firm in my faith and continue to trust in the God who sustains me and wakes me each morning.
Peace and Blessings