Grief and the Hope

Yesterday in China, 22 little children were slashed as they got off the bus by a man wielding a knife.  Today, in Connecticut, teachers, staff, and children were shot to death inside their elementary school.  As a teacher, I can’t even imagine the depths of those teachers’ devastation and I long for Monday to come so I can hug my precious students and see their sweet faces and listen to those little voices.  I can’t imagine the depths of the parents “weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:18)

As the news unfolds, some may argue for tighter gun laws, some will argue for stricter security at schools, others may point to this as proof that homeschooling is better, some will declare that this is God’s punishment on a wicked nation that has removed His name from their schools.

But man’s law will not deter someone bent on disobeying God’s law.   Law is not meant to stop evil; it is there to establish justice and show what sin is.  I will never argue against stricter security at schools or the merits of homeschooling, but safety is not guaranteed by either of those.  Neither is this certainly an act of judgment against the public school system anymore than “those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way. ” “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:2, 4; Christ’s answer was “no”).  It is a sign, though, that the world is still under the slavery of sin and the curse of death.

How can a person do this?  I can understand that evil gripping men’s hearts causes it, but I cannot comprehend the depths that evil can reach.

And it is a mercy of God to keep me from understanding its depths.

And only because of the saving grace of God, that same evil no longer reigns in my heart.

“For all have sinned.” (Rom. 3:23)

This I do know, that as deep as evil runs, the grace of God is deeper and stronger still.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

That only the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can replace evil intentions and desires with pure ones.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

That the only solution is the God-Man Jesus who welcomed children when others would have turned them away.  Who brought life to dead children.  Who gave his life to break the bonds of sin and conquer the curse of death.

Just as God was sovereign when Christ was born and protected him from Herod’s massacre, so He is sovereign today.  Even though His ways seem hidden and I do not understand why He allows some things to happen, this truth does not change.  Evil cannot win against God.  The darkness has not, and will not, overcome Him.

So, I pray that the peace of God will guard the grief-laden hearts in China and Connecticut.  That this grief will not be an opportunity for hearts to harden against the only One who can truly comfort and completely save.  But I pray that raw grief seeks and finds comfort in the Almighty.  I pray that many will examine their own hearts to see the same evil reigning there and pray, repenting of it and believing.  I pray that believers will be burdened to share the Gospel.  For it is in the heart that the strongholds of evil are demolished — not in the laws and reforms and precautions of man.

For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin.  As it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;

no one understands;

no one seeks for God.

All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;

no one does good,

not even one.”

“Their throat is an open grave;

they use their tongues to deceive.”

“The venom of asps is under their lips.”

“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”

“Their feet are swift to shed blood;

in their paths are ruin and misery,

and the way of peace they have not known.”

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

…But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.  (Romans 3:10-18; 21-25)

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.  It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”  (Isaiah 25:8-9)

2 thoughts on “Grief and the Hope

  1. Well said, Katie. I our days of social media overload, it seems everyone is compelled to try and say something profound in the immediate wake of tragedy. But I think you’ve said it best of everything I’ve read today.

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