I am overseas right now so it was early Monday morning when I opened my phone and saw that 26 were feared dead in a shooting in a small Texas country church. It is such devastating news. It shocked me to no end—the killing of so many precious people in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I just went numb. All I could do was kneel down and pray for the victims and their families.
Let us all keep praying for these precious people who are suffering in Sutherland Springs.
It is in times like this that we are reminded that our life here on earth is so very, very short. How do we know if we are going to be alive tomorrow? Each day we must seek to live our lives in the light of eternity and be Christ-like in all that we do and say. We need to keep praying and do all we can to help the needy and suffering.
The Lord is coming back soon. When we hear about such a horrible incident happening in a small tight-knit community, it tells us the current state of the world. More and more, we are confronted with such confusing events, chaos and uncontrollable situations around us. It’s important in these days that we keep in mind there is a real enemy, real demons and real struggles. The Bible tell us, “In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:15). More and more, we see these characteristics taking precedence in the worldviews around us, so much so that many of them have become normal, not an exception.
Being spiritual and godly does not give us a free pass from experiencing the turmoil in this age and the fruit of this sin we see so openly around us. Many people get confused, saying, “I am born-again, baptized, Spirit-filled and live for God. I give to God, I tithe, and so why do I have these problems?”
We are sobered by Sunday’s tragedy, but we also know that tragedy is not new to the Church. We can read about God’s saints from the history of the Church and Hebrews 11 and see what they went through. The early church fathers, along with thousands of believers, died under Nero and the cruel kings and rulers. Yet these people were so godly.
Life in the 21st century is described by philosophers not as the age of reason but as the age of confusion. No longer do logic or reason dictate choices, but confusion. I don’t think it takes much for anyone to see that our society, our families and our lives are out of control. But where does that leave us? How do we look ahead to the years we have left on this earth?
Jesus promised, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus knew the lives we must live in these last days. For those of us who are older, even when we imagined as young people where the world was headed, we could not imagine the world we find ourselves in today. But Jesus knew, and He told us to take heart, to be courageous. Why? Because He, in the midst of our pain, our sorrow, our confusion, has still overcome the world.
Let’s look at Psalm 46: 1-3:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Notice that it starts with, “God is our refuge and strength.” When we are in trouble, He is the One we can run to. He becomes our friend, our counselor, our comfort, our answer, our forgiver, the One who gives us company. In the midst of adversity, He is our strength. When we run out of all the things we depended on to give us inner and moral strength to continue the journey, He is that strength that never runs out.
If God is our refuge, that’s where we go when we are in trouble or when we have chaos in our lives. In a situation like this shooting in Sutherland Springs, it really is chaos. It doesn’t make any sense, and we can’t do anything to change what happened. When we go to God as our refuge, we come to Him and simply sit with Him. Let His spirit work. Be alone before Him and bring the situation before Him in prayer. Say, “Lord, I give this situation to You, and I trust You with it. Be there and be the answer.” As many times as you find yourself troubled by it, continue to give it to the Lord and trust Him with it. Then, as you continue to surrender it to the Lord, you will experience peace that passes understanding.
God is our safe place and is above all circumstances and all chaos. That’s where you and I are called to live—above the chaos and confusion. Even if the earth splits asunder, the seas roll, the mountains fall, we have this confidence: He is our refuge.
Let us lift our prayers to Him for everyone who is suffering in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Click here, to read more articles on Patheos by Dr. KP Yohannan Metropolitan.