Where is God when children are senselessly murdered? As I read about the shooting in Connecticut, I was shocked. I will never not be shocked when I read about a school shooting. A gun went off at my girls’ school last year, and I am thankful every time I remember that incident that not a single person was injured. But what if one was? What if it was my kid who didn’t come home that day? I cannot fathom what the parents/families in Connecticut are going through. It’s reported that the majority of the kids killed were in Kindergarten. Five-year-olds.
When I was a kid, we had fire drills, and the occasional earthquake drill. My girls have regular lock-down drills. In case someone comes into their school to hurt them. This should not be something that has to happen.
My mind went back to a post I wrote just over four years ago, on November 9, 2008. It’s not my words that are important, but those my pastor at the time was speaking, which were coming from the Lord.
Right now our pastor is speaking through Ecclesiastes. Today he spoke from Ecclesiastes 8:2-17. Ecclesiastes is written by King Solomon (or by someone speaking as King Solomon) and the general gist of the book is putting into perspective everything under the sun (on earth).
Our pastor spoke of what God wants us to hear through the passage: that no one, not one of us, has God’s power (v. 7-8). Solomon goes on to write of the injustices under the sun. When wicked men are honored at their burial, when others take courage in wickedness, when the wicked live long lives, and when justice is backwards (v. 10-14).
Solomon writes that we have to trust that God will set things right. It may look as if the wicked are getting away with their wickedness while they’re on earth, but it will not be so when they leave this earth (v. 12-14). He commands us to enjoy our life; to trust God to provide justice, and to accept that we will never comprehend all that happens under the sun (v. 15-17).
At the end of the sermon, our pastor showed us a picture of some graffiti that was found on a door of the church a while ago. It was not your normal graffiti. He said that he had a hard time deciding whether to show us or not, but then decided that it fit. The graffiti said, “Where was Jesus when my mommy was raped?” The image pierced my heart.
That’s tough. Really tough. Where was God when that happened? He was there. He will deal with that wickedness on the day of judgment. Is that hard to comprehend? Oh my word, yes. But, God does not report to us. We are on earth and He is in heaven. What right do we, the created, have to judge God, the Creator?
There is good news. God will resolve our hurt if we come to Him in brokenness. He will comfort us.
Ever heard the hymn It Is Well With My Soul? It was written by a man named Horatio Spafford whose four young daughters were lost at sea on their way from New York to France. His wife miraculously survived and was rescued by sailors. On his way to meet up with his wife, Spafford’s ship sailed over the place where his children perished. It was in that place that he penned the hymn.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
I usually find myself skipping out of church. I always feel uplifted by what I’ve been taught and by what has challenged me. Even if the passage preached about was a heavy one, I always find comfort in the fact that God is in control, not me. God is responsible for bringing justice to those who have brought hurt, not me.
The only hope that comes out of a tragedy like today is that the Lord will comfort those who mourn, and that He deal with the person who did this. The shooter will not get away with it.