Where is God?
May 24, 2022 will be remembered as one of the darkest days in our nation's history. Information is forthcoming in the mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead in Uvalde, Texas.
What we do know is the 18-year-old suspect shot his grandmother, stole her car, and crashed it near the scene. He then got out and fired at bystanders before entering Robb Elementary, where he barricaded himself inside a classroom and began executing unarmed victims. We also know Uvalde law enforcement stood in the hallway waiting for a command to breach the barricade as innocent lives were taken. Imagine listening to little voices screaming in terror, begging for help as bullets silenced their pleas...and taking no action.
Meanwhile, another band of (cowardly) officers detained parents in the parking lot who threatened to go inside and rescue their children. The gunman was finally neutralized more than an hour after he entered the building.
When human life is cheap
There are numerous ways to approach this subject. Democrats and radical progressives see the Uvalde tragedy as an opportunity to chip away at the Second Amendment, giving no time for grievance or thorough investigation. There's also well-meaning Republicans and conservatives who go on about mental health, inadvertently excusing hellish behaviors by insisting therapy and medication are the solution. Anthropological experts cite father absence and economic insecurity as sources for violent outbursts. There's an element of truth in all these things.
Still, restricting gun ownership, prescribing antidepressants, and blaming absentee parents won't get to the root of societal issues. Present generations are losing respect for authority, police departments are being defunded, prisons are being emptied, education systems are teaching Marxist doctrines, and Christians are under a "separation of church and state" spell. We the people are not collectively lifting up our voices. Too many of us take media reports to heart, we side with corrupt politicians, we're quick to cut off friends and family members who disagree with our perspective. We're letting the foul stench of evil and cowardice pollute the atmosphere over our nation.
Behind all the violence and homicidal rage is an indisputable fact: hatred of God, oneself, and one's country breeds division, destruction, and death.
In the days surrounding the Uvalde massacre, two mass shootings took place in New York, another 22 people were shot in Chicago, and at least four were killed when a gunman opened fire in an Oklahoma hospital. If you're keeping up with headlines, you saw another round of chaos erupt over the Fourth of July weekend. We are witnessing what I call soul rot; I define this as: a hardening of the human soul into a state of total depravity as a result of unchecked and unchallenged sin.
Ultimately, unrestrained liberty leads to insanity.
In the name of tolerance, we've allowed the devil to disciple a generation. People are behaving as if their actions have no consequences, they give no thoughts to eternity. A false message has been communicated that God is no longer watching (Prov. 15:3), love is the right response to evil (Eph. 5:11), and our personal happiness is His divine plan for everyone's life. Can we spot the lies of the enemy? Do we yet discern the Lord showing mercy, reserving judgment, calling a nation to repentance and right standing with Him?
If we want perversion and lawlessness to cease in society at large, we must deal with sin on the individual level. The human heart is wicked and the mind is full of evil imaginations (Jer. 17:9-10; Matt. 15:19). There's no comfort in Congress passing unconstitutional gun legislation or dedicating millions of dollars to mental health rehabilitation. Once we've medicated our youth and corrected socio-economic imbalances, sin remains until we confront it with the full, pure gospel.
So, where is God anyway?
He's here and now. He's with the people of faith, waiting on them to get a revelation of their role and responsibility in His redemptive plan for mankind. He's waiting on many in the church to get off the health-wealth-prosperity train and start sharing the gospel with the life and resources they already have. He's also waiting for believers to stop arguing over various doctrines, religious traditions, and the "correct interpretation" of Scripture. He's looking for Christians to come out of hiding in Sunday morning and midweek services. He wants us to engage the culture.
In childlike faith, we pray and believe for God to do amazing things. Yet, as mature believers we obey His principles, practice His ordinances, and apply His wisdom. Many personal and national crises won't escalate to a point that requires divine intervention if we stay on the path Christ calls us to walk. When we refuse to address those things within our sphere of influence and control, we don't need a miracle to make it right - we need to repent! When we do our part as individuals, the Lord promises to respond with power sufficient enough to shift an entire nation (2 Chr. 7:14).