Once again, tragedy abounds in the Land of the Free. While many of us were tucking our little ones into bed with a prayer and a kiss, or snuggled up next to the one we love watching a movie, others were running for their lives. People were being pushed and trampled as terrified concert-goers struggled to escape the steady stream of bullets raining down from a hotel window. I have listened to news reports and eye witness reports. I have been astounded by crude comments that have been posted via social media. I am so burdened by the loss that is being felt by so many, yet my heart fills with pride in fellow man when I read the countless stories of bravery that came about through the chaos.
I wonder at the evil that exists in our world today. Satan is on a rampage. He is having a field day with the citizens of planet Earth, and diligence and caution need to be a prominent part of our days. While we are spending time being diligent and cautious, let us not forget to also keep our eyes fixed on the Light, as that Light is the only thing that can overcome the darkness of the world we find ourselves in. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)
Despite this unexplainable tragedy, there is evidence of goodness among the mess. The bravery of first responders, the love and compassion of one stranger to another, the unity that comes in tragedy. God is evident, even among the suffering. His presence has reached down to comfort aching hearts and to encourage the discouraged. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed spirit. (Psalm 34:18) His love has caused one stranger to offer his life for another. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) So as our country digs its way out of yet another place of fear and sorrow, may we all look towards the light of our Heavenly Father who comforts those who mourn and brings hope to the hopeless. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10) And let us seek unity, not only in times of tragedy, but in moments of joy as well.
Tragedy has spoken to America again. It has whispered its words of fear and sorrow, anger and unbelief, and has filled our minds and hearts with sadness. But tragedy has also spoken words of hope, shouts of love, and declarations of comfort. On one night, song turned into screaming. But we serve a loving God who will take our screams of fear and turn them into songs of praise. Tragedy may speak, but God has the final word.