The horrific news regarding the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting in which 27 people have been killed, 20 of them children, by a 24 year old young man has no convenient or easy answers. There are no words that I could express to describe and define such a heinous act. I’m sure, like me, your heart is broken as you think about the families now so deeply affected by this, as well as, a sense of concern for your own children and families.
However, I do want to offer you some important things that I hope will be helpful.
1. Prayer IS critical and comforting in times like these. It’s important for us to not merely pray, but communicate to God honestly, emotionally, and consistently. Pray exactly like you feel. Pray for peace, healing, protection, etc. And pray God’s Word.
2. With that in mind, let God’s Word be your anchor and assurance.
3. Openly talk about this with your family and especially your children as they become aware of it. Don’t just huddle around the TV with your kids watching the coverage, but encourage them to ask questions, etc. Reassure them and pray with them; let them know that they ARE safe. Let things be as “normal” as possible for your kids.
4. While fear and concern are very honest emotions in times like these, reinforce your faith in God. Be reminded that we live in a fallen world where people commit evil acts. But also know that your God is faithful, He’s an “ever present help in times of need,” He is a “Shield about you and the Lifter of your head,” a “high tower that the righteous run into and are saved,” “that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world,” and “although in this world we will have tribulation, we can be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world.”
5. Talk and pray about this with your Life Group.
Again, there is really no explanation for such a violent act like this except that evil is very much at work in our world. And in the midst of so much brokenness, pain, and heartache, perhaps like Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet who couldn’t process what seemed so unfair and tragic in his day, we are tempted to ask the question he did, “Where is God in all this?” I hope we can find peace in Habakkuk’s conclusion…
Hab. 3:17-19 “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty… yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
This weekend at GCC in all of our gatherings we will set aside a time for a moment of silence and prayer in respect to this tragedy.
May God’s grace and peace by yours!
I love your focus on prayer to help with our responses to this tragedy. When I was buckling down to pray, I was led to a somewhat familiar song by Brandon Heath. I love how it spoke of the agape love of Christ helping us see through the challenges in life. I am only linking to my blog because it is easier to share the video than tracking it down again on YouTube. Hope you and perhaps your readers enjoy the video: http://wp.me/p2WjnV-3n