In the aftermath of the terrifying school shooting in Connecticut, people are voicing many interesting sentiments.
“All guns should be outlawed.”
“Schools should have better security measures.”
“The only safe place for our children is at home.”
“Why would God let something like this happen?”
I won’t even begin to address the first three, but I want to talk about the question of why God would allow something so unimaginably horrific to happen, because it seems we forget.
He “allows” this to happen for the same reason He “allows” us to cheat on our spouses and our income tax; for the same reason He “allows” rapists to rape, drug dealers to deal, and thieves to steal.
It’s called Free Will. It’s what God gave us, which allows us to make our own decisions.
Free Will. It’s what allows you – yes, you - to fib to your husband and to keep that extra dollar bill that the clerk mistakenly gave you.
Free Will is what you invoke every time you’re running late to work and you choose to break the law by exceeding the posted speed limit…
When you gossip about a neighbor…
When you feel jealousy and envy toward a friend’s blessings…
When you drink, smoke, overeat, swear, and idolize people or things above God.
He doesn’t want you to do those things, but because He gives you the right to choose – hence, Free Will – you do them. We all do.
Don’t you see? What happened in Connecticut is an extreme case of a person who chose to exercise his Free Will in an unbelievably heinous way.
Obviously his crime is huge and barbaric and unthinkable and beyond belief, but he did it because God gave us a Free Will to decide for ourselves.
We’re all in favor of Free Will when it allows us to live our lives as we choose. We love Free Will when it means we can do what we want and have what we want, whether it’s right or wrong.
You don’t blame God when you get caught in a lie to your best friend. You know that it was your choice, and you were the one who sinned.
You don’t blame God when the police officer hands you the speeding ticket. You know you were the one who chose to break the law.
It’s not fair to blame God now. He didn’t do this. He is not responsible.
But I do believe that God uses situations like this one for His glory and His purpose. He will not let this tragedy be in vain. Something good will come of it, and though we might not see the good until we meet Him face-to-face in Heaven, I believe it will be made clear to us then.
My deepest heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the families of the 20 little angels who lost their lives on Friday, as well as the six grown up heroes who perished. But I implore everyone to cling to God in this time of mourning, not blame Him and turn away. This is a time for us to come together as a nation and as children of the One True God and know that one day, we will find peace from this suffering.