Yesterday was a very difficult day for our nation. You will undoubtably hear about it as you grow up in connection with other such days that are yet to happen. 59 people lost their lives and over 500 people were injured in a random act of violence. And unfortunately, yes, it will happen again. Some other time. Some other place.
I wish that I could shield you from such things but I cannot. This is the world we live in. What I can do is share a few quick thoughts that might help you as you grow up in this crazy, messed up, increasingly more violent world. Hopefully we can talk about them more in depth in the days to come.
1) Fear not! – This is an often stated dictate in Scripture. Why? Because we are prone to fear. But it is easier said than done. The reason God can say this is because He usually accompanies the command with a promise: “I will be with you.” The presence of the Lord makes all the difference as we try to navigate our way through life.
2) Hold on to hope! – It would be very easy to give in to despair and hopelessness but by definition we Christians are a people of HOPE. Cling to the hope that the Scriptures give us that a better day is coming. Perhaps not in this world but in the world to come. And when that day does come, mortality will seem like a bad dream and we will forever find joy in Life as God intends for it to be.
3) Hold out hope to others! – People need the hope that we have to offer. Gun control is not the answer to our problems. Government is not the answer to our problems. The gospel is the answer because it is only in the gospel that the problems we face are sufficiently dealt with. People cannot live without hope and when they finally realize that the world cannot give them the hope they are looking for we can extend the hope of the gospel.
4) Pray! – The stuff that we hear about everyday, like Las Vegas, is not a surprise to God. Just read the Book of Revelation and you will see that things get worse before they get better. We are given a much neglected prayer in the last chapter of that book that goes like this… “Come, Lord Jesus.” Yes we should diligently pray for peace to reign in the hearts of men. Yes we should pray that God’s protection will be upon us. Yes we should pray that the joy of the Lord will be our strength in these difficult days. But let us not neglect to pray that the Lord will soon come and make all things right. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
And never ever forget that you are very loved!