Politicians and gun control advocates are mocking those who have expressed prayers for those suffering injuries and loss of family and friends in the tiny flyover village of Sutherland Springs, Texas, where they cling to their God and guns.
It’s a common reaction from the self-enlightened with a superior moral compass. If they were God, their version of what’s evil would be prevented. Therefore, either God doesn’t exist, or He is indifferent to evil, or powerless to stop it, or His love is in vain. A feeble god is easily mocked, as are his gullible followers.
Mockers demand immediate results on their terms. God should react to their “prayer” as if He’s an ATM, even though they have nothing on deposit. And they, not God, are in charge of defining evil and how to stop it.
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As Solomon said: “There’s nothing new under the sun.”
Jesus also endured vicious mockery while praying on the Cross:
Those who passed by were yelling insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “The One who would demolish the sanctuary and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”
In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him and said, “He saved others, but He cannot save Himself! He is the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He has put His trust in God; let God rescue Him now—if He wants Him! For He said, ‘I am God’s Son.’”
In the same way even the criminals who were crucified with Him kept taunting Him.”
“You don’t exist,” I once screamed at Him through tears and anger, not believing my own words.
Jesus knew that he was forsaken by God as He bore God’s judgment on sin. He cried out so that we can know we aren’t forsaken in the midst of suffering and death.
Until I became a Christian, I couldn’t comprehend why He allows evil, and why that evil day Jesus died on the Cross is called “Good Friday.” I thought God was furious with the human race for killing His Son, His only Son.
It was Easter Sunday 1967 when God opened my heart and understanding of the Gospel: Jesus willingly died on the Cross to pay for sin, my sin. He was buried, and three days later He rose from the dead as proof that His sacrifice satisfied God’s wrath. I saw Him on the Cross that day with arms outstretched saying, “I love you this much.”
I thank God He didn’t save Jesus from dying. He did something far greater when He rescued Him from death. On the third day that awful Friday became Good Friday.
Sometimes we “rail” against Him when we demand to know why we’re enduring our own awful Friday. We have to learn again to trust the God Who died for us.
We fix our eyes “on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
God always has joy in store for those who trust Him.
Prayer didn’t save those who died in that little country church in Texas. He did something greater as He walked them through the valley of death and took them home. That is the joy amidst sorrow that comforts their loved ones with the peace that passes understanding. They grieve, but not as those who have no hope.
The believers in Sutherland Springs know, as all Christians through the ages have known—our loved ones who’ve died trusting in Christ have been rescued from eternal death.
Until we are with Him, we bear our awful “Fridays” because Sunday’s coming.
The Rev. Frank Pomeroy lost his 14-year-old daughter and half of his flock in the massacre at the First Baptist Church. When asked by media how he makes sense of the tragedy, the pastor said it best: “I don’t understand, but I know my God does.”
This past Sunday afternoon the Sutherland Springs church, cleansed of the carnage, opened its doors to the public as a memorial to the fallen. The remaining members, joined by a 1,000 others, met under a tent Sunday morning to worship and pray.
For those who continue to mock, this prayer’s for you:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.