I had the flu last Friday, and had been up sick most of Thursday night. My mother advised me to sleep and not turn on the TV. Unquestioningly, I obliged. It wasn’t until late that afternoon, when I was on Fac.ebo.ok and saw everyone’s posts, that I learned what had happened. I have periodically wept quietly in little moments since then – in the car, in the shower, at my desk – anytime I was alone with my thoughts long enough to let the awful hideousness of the situation enter my mind. I refused to watch the news or even read blog entries talking about it.
It wasn’t until this morning, with my son at daycare and husband at work, that I was finally alone long enough to pour out my rage and grief to God. I thought, I need to know.
I need to know that I’m not raising my son, only to have him cut down mercilessly by the devil, who “…prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
I need to know that no matter how long I enjoy life with my child here on earth, we will live out eternity in Heaven.
I need to know peace.
As if in answer to this silent request, my daily devotional yesterday reminded me that there is, of course, a bigger picture.
Proverbs 24:14 (NIV)
Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
The Bible – especially Proverbs – is very clear that wisdom is the most important possession any of us can acquire in this life. Not money, not a wonderful relationship, nothing else replaces wisdom. And true wisdom comes only from God.
Right now a fresh battle is being waged in the war over gun control. Let me be among those who remind us that, even if consensus is reached, the government cannot give us peace. Government ultimately cannot save us or give us hope. It’s not in their power.
Not all things are knowable, but hope is the hallmark of a life of faith in God – and is exactly what the enemy wants to rob us all of. The devil wants to replace hope with fear and despair. That’s why we have to be wise to his tricks and refuse to give in, continue to look to God for wisdom, and allow His love to cover our fears, infuse us with peace, and give us the hope that only He can.
God honors prayer. Pray for the families who now must cross oceans of grief. Pray for the safety of our public (and private) spaces. Pray for those who might become the next random victims. Pray for the minds and hearts of those who might become the next perpetrators. Pray for the chains of the enemy to be broken. And refuse to become a victim of fear.
John 14:27 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.