The events of this last week have left us all heartbroken and sick to our stomachs. It’s especially difficult to digest the tragedy in Las Vegas while we are still reeling from the devastation caused by the hurricanes in this last month. The old adage says, “when it rains, it pours” and we certainly seem to be in the midst of a rainstorm. When tragedy strikes, it can be tempting to question our faith in a loving God who is all powerful. After all, He could have prevented these horrific events and spared the world a great deal of pain and loss. However, it is in the wake of events like these we need to cling to our faith even more. It is the primary thing that will help us heal and ultimately recover our sense of humanity.
First of all, let me say, your thoughts and prayers are not a waste of time. Prayer is a critical response to the heaviness of heart we all feel. I believe God hears our prayers and responds to our cries for help. But, of equal importance, each one of us has a personal responsibility to protect our souls from descending into the hells of anger, rage, and hopelessness. If we fail to do so, the evil we have just experienced will continue to spread and infect us until everything that is light and life within us has turned to darkness. Prayer centers us. It brings us back from the brink of despair to the truths that stand the test of time. Namely, that we are not alone and God has not abandoned us.
This all sounds naive and altruistic, but that is because we are affected by cynicism. We’ve seen these acts of evil on the news and we all anticipate more will come. An even worse feeling sets in when we begin to feel there is nothing we can do to stop the onslaught of evil in the world. Don’t give in to cynicism. Cynicism throws its hands up in the air and says, “this will never change! There’s nothing I can do to help!” That is a lie. It is through you and through me God will bring healing and transformation to our world.
How can I make a difference you might ask. Start by rebuking the thoughts that produce death and hopelessness within you. Make it your mission to perform an act of kindness for someone who is hurting today. Speak words of life over the discouraged. Wage a war of kindness and compassion with your adversaries. If you find yourself obsessed with each new report providing additional information, turn off your radio, t.v., or web device. Don’t believe the lie that there is nothing you can do. You are the solution God desires to bring to the world. So choose life today and everyday. Don’t give up. Let’s live our lives from the firm belief that death does not have the final word!