Wednesday, February 14th, Valentines Day, Ash Wednesday, middle of the week, initially an average day at school but then, it ended with seventeen deaths and a young man forever being known as a monster.
Some fear that our country is becoming numb to these events. People have this idea in their minds that no one feels shocked when they hear of another school shooting. I’m only a young college student who has no idea how public policy is carried out, how the government works, or frankly, how the world works.
But, when I turn on the news, all I hear is a gun-control debate. News channels quickly bring politics into the crime scene. I turn on Fox News and then CNN and hear different things. I listen to a sound bite on the radio and hear a young girl say, “Thoughts and prayers do nothing”. And what do we gain from this? What do I feel as a result of this tragedy?
Disappointment. Within hours of hearing of the school shooting, news outlets already chose sides. Some labeled this a result of Republican negligence to stricter gun laws while others chose to mock the statements released by the President and others. Media took the opportunity to call for government action which forced it to become a political issue. Media handling of this issue only resulted in frustration. And this frustration leads to people believing that prayer is useless, government is the answer.
But, prayer isn’t useless and government isn’t the answer. Who gave the leaders of our government their power? God did. Who aligned everything perfectly so that they would be elected into their position? God. He is sovereign. He is in control, Psalms 103:19 says, “The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.”
It’s hard to tell someone about Jesus because everyone has already made their minds up about Him. Whether you think you have or not. Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? If your answer is anything other than yes absolutely, then you haven’t placed your faith in God.
The bible says, “For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow” Lamentations 3:31-33. God’s word promises that he will never leave us, nor forsake us. You have to trust that.
Look at Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, three Jewish men who did not bow down to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue, in the book of Daniel.
They refused to worship anything or anyone other than the God of Israel causing King Nebuchadnezzar to order them to be thrown into the fire. Faced with their imminent, painful, death they said, “‘If our God—the one we serve—is able to rescue us from the furnace of flaming fire and from your power, Your Majesty, then let him rescue us. But if he doesn’t, know this for certain, Your Majesty: we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you’ve set up’” Daniel 3:17-8.
What happened next? They were tied up and thrown into the furnace. But then, something weird happened. When people looked into the fire, they saw four men walking around. They weren’t alone and they weren’t in pain. Jesus was with them in the fire.
They were ordered to come out and “Nebuchadnezzar declared: “May the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be praised! He sent his messenger to rescue his servants who trusted him. They ignored the king’s order, sacrificing their bodies, because they wouldn’t serve or worship any god but their God” Daniel 3:28.
These men refused to worship anything other than the Lord. They placed their faith and trust in God, and when faced with peril, they remained steadfast. This isn’t just a bible story to read aloud when bad things happen. It’s a real event, these things happened.
This was a miracle. These men were saved from the fire by the grace of God.
We need to be more like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego when tragedy is knocking. Because, “As God’s household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone” Ephesians 2:20.
Place your faith in Jesus, in Christ alone our lives are saved. Believe when you read from the Old Testament, “Therefore, the Lord God says: Look! I’m laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a valuable cornerstone, a sure foundation: the one who trusts won’t tremble” Isaiah 28:16.
Prayer isn’t useless, it’s how we communicate with God and how we put our faith in Him. Go to Him in prayer, asking for help, asking for Him to fix the mess our world is in. Put your trust in God, not in men. Jesus is our savior, He can do so much more than you can possibly imagine, but only if you ask.