Posted on December 17, 2012
After Friday’s darkness Monday’s Motivation
How do we find motivation after Friday’s act of darkness? I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time.
Bob Mayer’s FB status on Friday suggested: “Just mourn. No politics, agendas, rants. Losing a child is an exclusive club you do not want to be a part of. Trust me on that.”
This is not going to be a rant or a political statement. I don’t have an agenda.
What I have is a hurting heart.
My family lived near Newtown at one time. I have an undergraduate degree from Western Connecticut State in Danbury. One of my daughters graduated from New Fairfield High School. Our other daughter took piano lessons from a teacher in Newtown. Somehow, these connections made what happened more real.
I’ve been restless, perplexed, sidetracked by tears of anger and sadness all weekend. How do we make sense out of senseless?
I’m wondering how God can let things like the massacres in Newtown and Aurora , the rampage in Tucson and Virginia Tech happen?
Seeking answers I emailed my son, a minister with a Ph.D. in Theology. I share his thoughts with his permission.
It is in times like these that our faith meets sight. It is easy to walk by faith when things make sense. It is when our reality is rocked by some inexplicable and incomprehensible event that faith must really kick in.
Because I believe that God has revealed Himself to us in His written Word, the Bible, and because I believe the Bible contains everything we need for life, my mind turns to Scripture to seek an answer.
The crux of the matter in cases like this comes down to “how/why does God allow evil?”
It is really a question of sovereignty versus free will. If I could solve that, I would be famous indeed.
By its very nature, the sovereignty/free will issue is an antinomy—something that cannot be explained in human terms, to human satisfaction. Scripture reminds us in Isaiah 40:13-14 that God’s knowledge is unique to Him. And Proverbs 21:30 confirms that there is no wisdom, or counsel or understanding higher than His.
So we are left to trust Him and Him alone as knowing what is best.
For many people, this approach to the question of evil in the world is inadequate and trite. I understand.
That’s why eschatology is not just a hobby or whimsy of mine. It is the key cog in my worldview. I could not survive in a world where everyone is under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19) if I did not believe that God wins in the end.
When I see things like what happened in Newtown I get angry and crave God’s divine intervention more than ever. I, too, question why does He wait to claim victory?
But I take comfort in knowing that ultimately, God will intervene. A better day is coming. A day of complete justice when Satan and all of his human and demonic envoys will be judged once and for all. It is that promise of Scripture that allows me to keep going when things don’t make sense in the present world.
So, to summarize: The unspeakable events of Friday are incomprehensible apart from a biblical worldview that promises (1) God is in control even when evil seems to triumph; (2) All evil will be recompensed; (3) Justice will prevail; (4) God wins.
I believe, like my son, God wins the final victory. But until that THE END happens, I will hug my children more, tell teachers I appreciate them more often, and offer prayers of comfort for the families and victims of these tragedies.
And most important, as a writer, I will write.
So should you.
I love Emma D. Dryden’s suggestions in her blog.
Create something precious for the world that might help to replace the precious the world’s lost. Write, paint, sing, dance, walk in nature, breathe deeply, and love fiercely. As we reach out to friends, to family, to others, so too must we reach inside to be gentle with ourselves. And we must remind ourselves we do carry the light necessary to light the dark corners, vanquishing one shadow at a time.