When events unfold like they have this past weekend, in an attempt to help explain why it happened, the first thing people often do is try to blame someone for it. It’s as if by blaming someone for it some sort of relief will come. The blame is really just an out pouring of our hurt and pain. It becomes a way to try and relieve some of the emotions welling up inside us.
Sooner or later that blame gets turned toward God. While most people don’t blame God for causing or carrying out these types of events they do blame Him for not preventing it. The blame is often in the form of a question, “So where was God in all this?”
Let me say that there is nothing wrong with the question, it should be asked. But often the question gets asked as if to say “if there is a God then he must have been somewhere other than at the movies that early morning.” Or they ask questioning the very nature of God, “what kind of God would allow such a thing like this to happen?”
I have to admit that the answers that are often given to these questions I find weak and misguided leaving people hanging, confused and even angrier.
I do however believe there are real answers to these tough questions and if we can wrap our mind and heart around them we can begin a healing process.
First let me say God did not do this or cause Friday morning’s events to happen! Yes, he allowed it, but that does not make Him any less of the great God that He is.
The events of Friday morning only stand to prove God is real and everything He said is true and trustworthy. If we only look at events like this from a selfish perspective we will never see God or His truths being lived out in the world around us. In the unfortunate events that took place we see the results of what happens when people’s lives are not yielded to God and His truth and love and grace are not allowed to change or influence a person’s life.
To understand why God allows these things to happen – you have to understand how we are created. Of all the things that God created we were created unique. We were created to do life together with Him. God created everything and He loves all that He created but of all the things He created only one thing has the ability to love Him back – mankind! In order for that to happen, in order for us to love God back He had to uniquely create us. He had to give us the ability to choose to love Him back. Otherwise we would just be robot’s, doing what we were mechanically created to do.
For example, I love my truck, I love my house, I love my boat, most of the time they give me great satisfaction, unless they’re in need of being repaired. But as much as I love them they will never return that love - they can’t – they were not created that way. They have no choice!
Unlike my truck, house and boat we do have a choice, we’re not robots or machines, we’re human beings with the freedom to choose to give love back. Understand that because we have this ability we get to experience all the richness and blessings this life has to offer.
Now for God to choose to create us this way He was taking a risk. With the ability to choose to do the right thing we also have the ability to choose to do the wrong thing. And when we choose to do the wrong thing – nothing good can come from it.
So where was God?
He was there in the choices that were being made. He was there in the choices to do evil. God warns us of the consequences when we choose not to follow him and apply his truth and love and grace to our lives!
But the greatest presence of God was seen in the choices to do good! Friends choosing to shield others from harm with their own bodies, some actually giving their life to save another. One friend choosing to stay by her friend’s side applying pressure to her wound to keep her from bleeding out. God was there in the hugs, the tears, the words of encouragement and the prayers. God’s promise is that though we may choose not to stay with him he will never leave us
Over the next couple of days I hope to provide some hope and understanding in the wake of the events that have unfolded in Aurora, Colorado. Until tomorrow let me leave you with this…
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15 NIV84