May I vent? OK, my blog…guess it’s ok.
If you’re anything like me, you’re getting “sick and tired” (two inseparables there) of hearing armchair theologians declaring that God was not present at Sandy Hook because “we systematically kicked Him out of society.” I’m getting to the point that I may actually scream out loud if I hear it again (now, waiting for someone to say it just so I have to follow through).
One more time: 1. God is sovereign and omnipotent. That means He is all-powerful and cannot be over-ruled or pushed around. He does not submit Himself to mere man or else He would cease to be God (and man would step into His place). He is in His heaven and does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3). 2. He cannot NOT be somewhere. He is omnipresent. David worships God because of this in Psalm 139 (7-12).
It is maddening to continually hear people with good intentions who want to see prayer in public schools restored use bad theology to do it as if the end justifies the means.
Make the argument that we are better off when we are free to live out our faith in all avenues of life, but don’t diminish the majesty and glory, the power and dignity of God in the process.
God is God!
God must either allow or prescribe everything that happens in this world (Isaiah 46:8-11). Wrestle with that, but don’t dismiss the truth of what Scripture says because it doesn’t fit the easy narrative that God would have done something to stop a tragedy if He could have, but He got His walking papers and moved on or was powerless to do something because the will of man is stronger than the will of God. Yes, God can most certainly remove His Spirit from a people and give them over to their sins (Romans 1) and sin does, in fact, put a separation between man and God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and sin was definitely the cause of such a massacre, but there is no evidence that God could not have saved those 26 people because He had been kicked out or was powerless to do so.
Where was God? He was there! Grace shows up in many forms and often in ways we may not grasp this side of heaven, but I believe God’s grace was even present in the little lives of these beautiful, terrified children who couldn’t run safely out of that school. His ways and thoughts are beyond my ability to understand (Isaiah 55:8-9) but the God I know didn’t leave them alone or abandon them in their darkest moment. How does it go? “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…”
Just because I can’t understand why God didn’t stop it or see clearly what He was up to doesn’t lessen the fact that there are many things that happen beyond our ability to know and understand. For some, that’s not good enough. Fair enough. I can’t convince everyone and God’s certainly capable of convincing anyone He pleases, but there are plenty of “realities” I don’t understand. I often have problems just understanding how WiFi exists. Nevertheless, incredible amounts of data fly through the air unseen and undetected by me, and yet there is evidence of that as I turn on my computer. I may not understand or see how God is working, but often we see evidence as people are transformed and upheld in the midst of tragedy or when peace shows up inexplicably where there should be none.
As time goes by, little hints of grace pop up unexpectedly, and if we’re looking, we find God was, indeed, very much there.