My heart is so saddened by the awful events in Colorado. I have and will continue to pray for all those that are hurt by this tragedy. Luckily J is too young to know what is going on but someday tragedy will hit and I will have to know what to say. So I've been thinking what do you say to the innocent, the ones who don't understand, the ones who see the world for good? Because truthfully someday he will experience tragedy, either personally or through a friend or worldly.
I know when awful things happen like this most want to blame someone. And sadly most of the time people blame God. Why would He do this? How could He let this happen? Most believers will immediately say God did not allow this, but He is near. He is here to show compassion and love. He will help you through this. Non believers and some believers will say that God is not good. He let this happen. Christians are stupid. Why do you believe in a God that allows such awful things? Of these people I am the first. I do not believe God lets these things happen. They do happen because there is evil. We choose to be good or evil or make good or evil choices. We are all sinners. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 NIV)" We choose our actions. And we have Earthly and Heavenly consequences for our actions. I believe God is always present. Hoping we will choose good but when we don't He is here to help. He doesnt cause this awful things but He uses these awful events to show his unending compassion. His love for His children. To use events like this to bring people to Him, to call out and seek Him. I read a blog yesterday from a woman who was in the theater. Her outlook was amazing, a true woman of God. God was using her in this blog to reach out to the hurting. Then I skimmed the comments (not always a good choice) and there it was the one comment that could destroy all the things she said. The one comment that twisted her beautiful words. And it made realize that the devil is also always present. And not only did he act through the man who did the shooting, But he is acting through the reactions of everyone. He is using this opportunity to pull people away from God and to keep some people from ever meeting Him. Some people will never look past the hurt, pain, suffering, tragedy to see the compassion and love that God is pouring out. I am completely heart broken that one man destroyed so many lives, that he has made million feel unsafe in what should be a safe place. I hate his actions. But I know God is there for all. I pray for those that are hurting, and I pray for that man. I hope that someday he will meet God and find forgiveness. Because my God is a forgiving God.
So to my son, when tragedy strikes this is what I wiIl say:
1. God is good, All the time. All the time, God is good. - remember that no matter what happens He is good.
2. There is good and there is evil. - both exist, both are real. Choose good. Be the difference, make the choice to be good and stand out, even when the world disagrees or persecutes you.
3. God forgives and forgets. -Thank goodness He forgives and forgets. We are all sinners. The choice of good and evil is our own. But if you ever choose evil He will forgive if you ask. He will forgive and forget. The world is not so forgiving.
4. Bad things will happen - its true. They will happen more times than you want. Good things happen too. Rejoice when they do be thankful.
5. God loves you!- no matter what God loves you! John 3:16
6. I love you- no matter what I will love you. Sometimes your actions may make me sad, but I will always love you.
7. God is just- although His justice is not of this world, He rewards those that deserve it and punishes those who do not believe and seek forgiveness.
8. God always loves- look for it. It is easy to find the evil, the suffering, but search for the goodness of God. It is here. He is compassionate, loving and gives us more mercy than we deserve. Look for it!
9. Be an example of Christ- the world is hurtful and hateful, be someone who is an example of Christ. Be good, compassionate, forgiving and loving. Be a man after Gods own heart!
10. God wins- although this world is heartbreaking at times, and this life can be really hard, I've read the back of the book and God wins! Good wins! Believe in that.
What will you tell your child when tragedy strikes?
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made. (Psalm 145:9 NIV)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV)
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11 NIV)
I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing." (Psalm 16:2 NIV)
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you. (Psalm 86:5 NIV)