We see a senseless tragedy like what happened early Friday morning in Aurora, Colorado and we ask "why" but stop and think a moment. Perhaps we should be asking ourselves "why not?" and "why doesn't it happen more than it does" because truly as so many people have thought over the past few days, there is evil in the world. Yes, there is evil in the world. We don't want to think about that. We want to think about good and love and compassion and mercy but our world is nothing like that. And it never will be anything like that until Jesus comes to restore it.
The reality is the moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God and took the bite of the fruit, against his command, evil entered the world. It is here to stay. God cannot take evil away from the world without Jesus coming back and until he is ready to do that, evil exists. Always has and always will.
Jesus himself, when tempted by the enemy, the devil, Satan, Lucifer, whoever you want to call him, but definitely the one not on our side and definitely evil, Jesus did not refute him when the enemy said he could give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would just bow down and worship him. (Matthew 4:8) Of course Jesus didn't, but the fact is God allows the enemy to be in this world and where there is the enemy there will be evil. Jesus has all authority over heaven and earth (Matthew 28:19) and is totally in control. And one day he will restore it all. His word says it and I believe his word, because his word is trustworthy and true and he always keeps his promises. (unlike the father of lies, the enemy).
But until he restores the world, we will have evil. Its sad, but it is the truth. We will have murder, rape, stealing, lying. People will be robbed of their lives, their loved ones, their dignity, their possessions, and so much more.
We will stop and wonder why, why, why. What could we have done differently? Didn't we see the signs? How could this have be allowed to happen?
I think it all stems down to what happened in that garden so many years ago when Adam and Eve stepped back and thought about it all and wondered if God was more than enough for them or did they want something more? Did they deserve something more? Forgot the fact that he walked with them in the garden in the cool of the day. Fellowship with their creator in a perfect garden. Yet that was not enough for them. They were tempted by the very same things we are tempted by today, power, possession, pleasure.
The fact is God is more than enough. He truly is. He's been trying to tell us over and over again in his word and by his actions. We just need to stop believing the lies of this world and believe the truth of our Father, our Creator, the one who knitted us together in our mother's wombs, the one that counts our hairs, stores our tears, knows our very next breath and is totally in control of this world and us.
And then there may be less "why's" and more hope and more people coming to see the saving grace of Jesus and the security we have in him for all of eternity because of his willingness to die for our sins and his willingness to merge heaven and earth together and his willingness to one day restore the earth completely to how it should be. In the meantime, we live in this sin infested, dirty, evil world. And we, who are called by his name, try to do our best to be his light to others, to share his word, share his love, share his compassion to the least, the lost, the last and to all we come in contact with.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for what you did for us on the cross, I thank you that you are totally in control even when it doesn't make sense with what goes on around us. But I trust in you, trust in your word, and I know I have hope in you for all of eternity and for that I am so thankful. Be with those affected by this horrendous crime, the victims' families, the wounded, the recovering, the community. In your precious name, I pray. Amen.