God did not Pull the Trigger

churchsteepleOften, when something awful happens, like the mass shootings at Umpqua Community College, people blame God:

Where was God when the shootings happened?

How could a loving God allow the shootings to happen, especially against his own children–Christians?

This is very erroneous thinking.  God was with His children when the shootings occurred. God has said in His Bible, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5; Deut. 31:6.

In the Old Testament, God reassures His people, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

But how could a loving God allow the shootings to happen?

This is particularly hard to understand, but I believe it is because God gives us free will.  Unfortunately, Christopher Harper Mercer had a choice of whether to follow God (the Source of all love, beauty, and kindness) and use his life for good, or he could follow Satan—the source of all ugliness, horror, and evil.

Mercer chose the latter.

And the victims—all heroes in my eyes for standing up for their beliefs—suffered because of Mercer’s choice.

On the other hand, despite the horror of what happened, the victims stood up for their faith, and I hope to meet them one day when I get to Heaven.  I hope to tell them that they are heroes who glorified God yesterday with their choice to choose good.

I believe that they are in such a better place right now than we are.

I hope that I would be so courageous to stand up for my faith as they did!

Meanwhile, their families who were left behind suffer unimaginably, and their lives have been forever altered.  May God give them strength during the coming days and cover them in His loving kindness.  I pray that God will help them to remember the words of King David in 2 Samuel 12:22 when he loses his infant son:  “I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me.”

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