It is so sad these days to hear of all the shootings that have been going on throughout our country. A recent news report explains the latest shooting of three teen-aged boys who were bored and decided to do a drive-by shooting for entertainment, killing an Australian student who was studying abroad in the U.S. Australia is disgusted, and rightly so. This is not something to show any pride in, and makes me ashamed to see the direction our society has been going in lately. I have my own opinions on gun control and how we should maintain that control, but moments like these make me question why guns were ever created in the first place? Why war? Hurt? Violence? Crime?
These are the type of questions that many non-Christian ask. Where is God through all of this? A friend of mine recently talked to a non believer who once believed, but lost his faith after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. He couldn’t understand why God would allow something like this to happen. So many people died that day, and are dying every day, without reason, from violence and murder. The Bible talks about the plans God has for you. However, this becomes a tricky topic when God’s plan come into view. Many may wonder, is it God’s plan to let these people die like that? I cannot fully answer that. I do know that God knows when it is our time to go, but this still does not justify what happened.
Likewise, with this situation, many people are disgusted. I have read remarks that these teens who executed this crime should be dealt with justly, sometimes referring to torture, or other means. But, we need to remember that God is a just god. He is the only one who has the right for judgement because only He is perfect. God does not see one sin greater than another like we do as humans.
“My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgements are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” -Isaiah 26:9
A good way to look at this injustice is to look at what sin did to us when it came into the world. God loved us so much that He gave us the will of choice. Adam and Eve had a choice to obey or disobey. Eve chose to listen to Satan and gave into temptation, thus, bringing into the world sin. That’s how we should look at this situation, as well as other shootings, and 9/11. It was a sinful act. These people chose to do these things. And, it breaks my heart. But, I know that even more so, God’s heart is breaking for His people. He has given us His commandments and His Word to guide us and learn about His love, and we aren’t listening.
When talking to my friend about her encounter with this non believer, she explained how sad she felt and that she wept for those lost during 9/11. I feel the same, but am again reminded of God’s plans. Though they go astray when we make the decision not to listen, and we sin, God always makes it work. Many people died from the 9/11 attacks, but I am reminded of how many people came to know Christ through that disaster too. Lives that may not have been touched, were reached out to from a loving Christ-centered community, that shared with them the hope we know from being believers.
So, how can this be applied to what happened to Chris Lane and the three teenagers involved? We can pray. Pray that they will hear the Word of God, and repent. We can also pray for Lane’s family as they suffer this loss. We can pray for his friends and extended family, those who know him. We can ask God to reveal himself through this situation. Life on earth is temporary, and we sin and make mistakes. Are we going to let those mistakes affect us in eternity? Or are we going to repent and seek Jesus? The truth is, no matter the good deeds or bad that we do here on earth, it all comes down to knowing that Jesus died on the cross about 2000 years ago so that we can have a relationship with God and spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16
Sometimes the world doesn’t make sense. And, there will be questions that can’t be answered by any human being. We can ask God to help us understand and give us peace. Just always remember that God is in control and He loves us, and that we are always, no matter what, welcomed into His open arms, regardless of our past, present, or future state.