The morning I heard four beautiful lives were taken and several others injured in the shooting at the Waffle House in Antioch, I immediately fell to my knees and called on God to comfort the grieving families and victims.
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.
One of the great challenges we all face in the journey of life is handling setbacks, disappointments, hurt, disaster, tragedy, failure, mistakes, loss of a loved one, sickness and the list goes on. Some could wonder, can God use such things for something good?
Is this our new normal, innocent children shot in school, families killed in church and other similar trials and tragedies?
Some may question, why does God allow these things to happen? The word of God says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We must understand that all suffering is not our fault. There was once a man name Job who was blameless and upright, a man of such integrity that he was considered by God.
“One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil, Job 1:6-8.”
If anyone deserved blessings, Job did. Yet, one day God puts him to the test. Job’s life falls to pieces; calamity of every kind comes upon him. A gang of men from Sheba attacked and took his livestock and massacred his servants; a house collapses on his sons and daughters and kills them all. Disease strikes him, and he is covered with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. In all this, he submits patiently to God, only to be mocked by his wife, who tells him to “curse God and die.” Friends arrive, and still he is patient. For days, they sit with him in silence, seeing how he suffers.
Finally, Job cannot contain himself any longer and questioned God to give him an answer to why all this tragedy? God did not fully answer him. God instead spoke of His own power and His own presence.
Job lost everything, yet he stayed close to God and the Lord restored Job’s prosperity and gave him twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10).
Imagine if Job had said, “Well, God if that’s what you let happen in my life, I will no longer follow you.” He would have missed out on unbelievable blessings.
We do not know why God does not intervene and stop some tragedies, but what we do know, is God stands against evil and violence. Just as God was with Job, He is with us working all things out for our good.
Brandon Davis is senior pastor of Living Word Family Worship Center in Watertown. Preacher’s Corner features a new local preacher each month writing a column.