As I have been praying for the numerous families affected by the events in Las Vegas, and as I have been watching the news attempt to cover such a mass tragedy, I have also been asking God what He would have me say or do to encourage and to comfort those left reeling in the wake of such tragedy.
As humans, when we come face to face with such devastation as what happened in Las Vegas, we immediately want to know the why and the how such a thing could happen. Investigators are tearing apart every aspect of the shooter’s belongings as they attempt to piece together his motives for doing what he did. Many of us would love to know how such a “seemingly normal” retired accountant could suddenly choose to take the lives of unsuspecting, innocent people. We long for a reason. We long for answers. We long for justice.
And I wish I could write today the answer that would make everything make sense. I wish I could point you to one scripture that would make it all make sense. I wish I could say I know why bad things happen to good people. I wish I could give you an answer as to how tragedies like this happen.
But I can’t. For I don’t know why. And I don’t know how. And, honestly, none of us will ever fully know the whys and the hows of everything that goes on during our time on this earth.
But here’s what I do know: God still reigns. Even when we do not understand Him or His ways, God still reigns
No, this will not bring back the 59 people who lost their lives. No, this will not take away the fear and torment that the over 500 injured and the other survivors had to endure and will have to work through in the days weeks and years to come.
Knowing God reigns does not erase the events that shatter our lives. It does not negate the heart wrenching pain that comes when we lose the ones we love or lose the innocence we once had. But knowing God reigns does get us through; it does keep us moving forward.
God allows us to weep. God allows us to mourn. So if you are one of the ones in Las Vegas facing such an immense loss, weep and mourn. God knows the pain and suffering that you are facing, and He understands your hurting heart. God does not want you to bottle up what you feel. But He does call you to draw near to Him at such a time as this. He does call you to run to Him with your questions, to run to Him with your fears, and to bow before him with your tears. So cry out to Him and run to him today, even though you do not understand, and even though it hurts beyond compare.
Yesterday I shared about the difference between someone who trusts in people and things and someone who trusts in the Lord. The difference between the two is whether or not we get back up when things go wrong. If we blame and run away from God during a time like this, we are also running away from our healing and our help and our ability to get back up. God knows we will weep. God knows we will mourn. God knows we will ask the whys and the hows. And God is more than able to handle our questions. But here’s what we also must remember: God does not want us to continually look back and try to figure out the whys and hows of the events of our lives. He wants us to look up. He wants to us to look up to Him–to seek Him knowing we will find Him. And as we seek Him and we find him, we will also see His Almighty hand lifting us up out of the miry clay and drawing us out of the darkness and leading us into his marvelous light.
Yes, there are children who lost their parents. There are husbands who lost their wives and wives who lost their husbands. There are parents who lost their children. And there is no denying the pain and heartache that accompanies such loss. There is also no amount of political discussion or promises of gun control that could ever bring back the lives of those lost.
Yet in the midst of everything going on we must not lose sight of Eternity. We must remember this world is not our home. This pain is not forever. The tears will be wiped away.
For God reigns.
And God will bring us through.
Therefore, it is imperative we continue to trust in His sovereignty even in the midst of such tragedy.
Again, what happened in Las Vegas was horrible, heartbreaking, and senseless. There is no denying the horrific event. But there’s no explaining it either. So I encourage you today instead of trying to figure out why or how or who to blame, I encourage you to seek God. And pray. Pray for those affected. Pray for God to give you the compassion and the mercy and the know how of how you can be His hands and feet during such a time as this.
And as you pray, believe. Believe that you will start to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Believe that although now we cannot fathom nor understand such a tragedy, we can know the One who does.
Knowing God is God will not erase the pain, but it will get us through it. So run to Him today. Seek Him today. Trust Him today. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).