Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Probably the biggest issue we struggle with in times of senseless loss is when innocent people, especially children, suffer or die. Half of Sunday’s victims were children. They were murdered in church, of all places.
Does God see this? Does he care? Is there something else at play?
No one, not even the smartest and most studied theologian in the world can answer why bad things happen to specific people. Here are four responses to that heavy question I believe apply.
Mass murders are evil. God as revealed in the Bible is the antithesis of evil. Mass murders happen because this world is sinful, and many, many people use God’s loving gift of free choice to hurt others. We have options that either lead us toward the goodness of God or away from it. Most of us do both to varying degrees. That is why we need a Savior – Jesus, God’s own Son – to find forgiveness of sins and learn to do what is right.
Lack of Knowledge
Sometimes we do not stop the evil among us because we do not know what to do. Domestic abuse is evil. The fact that the shooter in Texas committed domestic violence should have been enough for people around him to wise up and take precautions. Unfortunately, as a world society we are quite ignorant about what to do with abusers. We do not understand the nature of abuse.
Abuse is always about power and control. Always. It escalates, and does not diminish over time. It is not a “bad day” or “one time event.” Abusers feel entitled, manipulate our emotions, and will play whatever role we need until we offer mercy. We are unwise to ignore that only years of consistent change in an abuser’s worldview can give us faith in his or her character. Rarely does an abuser change.
No one can say, “The devil made me do it.” God’s enemy is out to destroy all that points to God, yes. He is even described in the Bible as a lion prowling the earth seeking whom he may devour. However, we choose between God and his plan or Satan’s ways.
Satan is behind evil such as we saw in Texas this week. Keep in mind, his end is assured and has been prophesied since the first humans sinned. He does not win the final spiritual war.
We know he does if we believe what the Bible says about his character.
He sees –Psalm 33: 13 -15
The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.
He hears the cries of the innocent – Psalm 9:12
For [God] who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.
He hates murder of innocents – Proverbs 6: 16-19
There are …things…that are detestable to him: …hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil…
Judgment is coming – Psalm 37:7-10
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. … For those who are evil will be destroyed… A little while, and the wicked will be no more…
Testimonies from survivors of the Texas mass shooting reveal a focus on the eternal, and trust in God. In that little church, they taught and listened to the words of Jesus, such as these incredible sentences in Today’s Helpful Word:
Today’s Helpful Word
“Don’t be afraid of those who can kill only your bodies—but can’t touch your souls! Fear only God who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Not one sparrow (What do they cost? Two for a penny?) can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t worry! You are more valuable to him than many sparrows.”
Comments are always welcome (see tab below). NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.