Batman Movie – Who Would Have Thought?
You expect a bit of death and carnage when you go to see a Batman movie – but on the screen, not in the seats and on the floor of the cinema. Who would ever have thought – these people were on a great night out. 12 murdered. Some 60 injured. Lives lost. Families torn apart. Grieving fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, children …
And the alleged perpetrator an apparently mild mannered, law abiding citizen. What happened? How do you process it all?
Fortunately I’ve never had to face that sort of a tragedy in my life. But I know people who have.
My own parents lived through WWII in Europe. And much more recently, a good friend of mine lost 14 of his family members in a war in Africa.
That sort of pain and loss is unimaginable. And yet it happens all the time. The shootings in Denver, Colorado this past weekend were incredibly tragic – and I don’t in any way wish to diminish that – but you understand that in other parts of the world, hundreds … thousands are dying day after day, week after week.
Bullets. Mortar shells. Disease. Starvation. None of those people planned for those things to happen. They just happened!
And that’s the thing. None of us knows what’s coming next. You imagine you’re going out for a great night’s entertainment and some guy starts mowing down people in the cinema. None of us knows what’s over the next rise, around the next corner. None of us knows what’s going to happen today, tomorrow, next week.
So – where does our faith come in? Is believing in God just a crutch for the weak? Or is there something more to it than that when tragedy strikes our lives?
At a time of great disaster in Israel’s history, God spoke these words:
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard: Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege ramps and before the sword:
The Chaldeans are coming in to fight and to fill them with the dead bodies of those whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their wickedness.
I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. (Jeremiah 33:1-7)
Ultimately God is in the healing business. Ultimately, He’s in the restoration business. Ultimately, He’s in the business of blessing.
I was reminded last night by a dear friend of mine over dinner – Petter Tyrrell, the Director of Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living Ministry here in Oz – that the most powerful thing that we can do in a time of tragedy is to praise God.
Because our God does have a plan – and it’s a plan for our good, not for our harm.
Tragedies will come and go in our lives. They just will. And when they do – as most certainly they will – remember ….
God is still in the healing business. He’s still in the restoration business. He’s still in the business of blessing.