After spending what seemed like hours reading through stories about the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting and reading the brief descriptions of the victims, there was only one thought that ran through my mind: how could God let such a horrible thing happen?
How could God, this loving God that I’ve begun to know… how could He allow such a terrible thing to happen? Why did this have to happen to these pure and innocent children who have no wrongdoings? WHY?
Is not God all-powerful and all-knowing? I know that love comes from free will, but why does God even allow us to choose evil knowing the hurt it can bring?
Despite my frustration, I only feel more love for God. I am thankful for Him, thankful to Him, but not for being spared of this tragedy. I am just thankful. But why is this?
The fact that the victims of this shooting were 6 and 7 year olds breaks my heart. I have a sister, Elena, who is 7. If there was someone who I could love more than God, it would be her. After hearing the news of Newtown, all I could think of was her. I cannot imagine a world without her.
I can only imagine the grief that the parents of the lost are feeling. If it hurts so much just imagining the pain, just think of how unbearable it is experiencing this pain. If, God forbid, anything bad happened to my sister … no words can describe.
It was while thinking about how I would react that made me realize – God knows this feeling. The fact is, God lost His son.
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matthew 27:46).
I have heard this passage many times, but I don’t think I’ve truly understood the meaning of this cry. This is not just a plea for help. In many ways, what Jesus cried out is like how we question God today. During this moment, as Jesus hung from the cross on the brink of death, God turned away and Jesus was forsaken. He was deserted. Abandoned.
Not even God could bear losing His son. This great and powerful God who could conquer all things… He turned away and deserted Jesus because not even He could stand watching His son die on the cross.
As Christians, our first message to the world is often of God’s love for humanity because He sacrificed His son on the cross. However, we often do not fully appreciate this message for its true meaning.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God loves us eternally. In fact, this love is so deep, so real, so committed, that God willingly allowed His son to forfeit himself to evil. Imagine knowingly sending your child to die, and to die for the sake of those who do not even know you. No words can describe the feeling.
There was one father, Robbie Parker who fights back heartfelt tears as he talks about his daughter, Emilie. As he describes his wonderful daughter, who he says actively found ways to brighten others’ days, he smiles as the joy she brought to those around her.
“She never missed an opportunity to draw and picture or make a card for those around her.”
Why her? No one will ever be able to understand. But I also ask the question: why Jesus? He was the purest of the pure, the most perfect and innocent human to ever have existed. Yet he died the death of a traitor, a scoundrel … a nobody.
God’s love is so unbelievably real. What could possibly be greater than this self-sacrificial love of God?
While I continue to struggle through trying to understand this tragic event, I do realize one thing. God is not against me, or you, or anyone. Through all the pain and sorrow, the misery and the despair, God is there every step of the way, feeling the exact same thing.
So why do I believe in this God who is so confusing and frustrating? Because His love for me is greater and more vast than everything. This is love that God is willing to die for so that his love may reach every one of his children. There is nothing greater than a Father’s love for his child. Now isn’t this something to be thankful for?