What comes to mind when you hear of tragedies like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school this past Friday? Do you picture your children’s faces or those of your nieces and nephews? Do you think back to your own years in public school?
It seems like school shootings are becoming more and more common. We live in a fallen world, although we don’t give it much thought until evil comes knocking. Evil is no respecter of persons. No one is immune to being targeted by the evil one. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us,
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
And John 10:10a tells us,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”
So what do we do when tragedies like this happen? How do we make sense of it all? How do we get through it?
When we look around for answers all we seem to find is faces of confusion looking back at us. More questions. That is, until we look up and we find peace, peace in the midst of pain and heartache.
Psalm 121:1-2 says,
I Will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From whence shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
My heart breaks for the families touched by this tragedy. I used to teach kindergarten and I cannot imagine what they’re experiencing today as the big yellow buses roll by. I’ve spent this weekend thinking back to my classroom, the faces of the children I taught, wondering what I would have done or could have done if I found myself in a similar situation. No parent should have to bury a child, ever.
There isn’t a parent in our nation who isn’t holding their children a little closer, who just needs to touch them to know they’re okay, no matter how old they are. People are recognizing how precious life is and how it comes with no guarantees. Words that should always be said are being said to loved ones today. Hugs take just a little longer today.
Is there someone you need to reach out to today? Is there someone you need to forgive or someone you need to tell you love them? Don’t waste a moment. Restore broken relationships, cultivate new ones, and bless those you have. It’s what God intends for us.
While the beginning of John 10:10 tells us of the enemy’s plans and purposes for our lives, I want to leave you with the rest of the verse, God’s purpose and our hope.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Don’t live your life in fear. Live your life to the full, as God intended. Don’t miss an opportunity to share kindness and love with those who cross your path. You will make your life and theirs better because of it.