Once again our nation grieves over a tragedy of needless loss. In the 70s, crazed gunmen were almost unheard of. Each decade that passes, these become more commonplace. Just a few short years ago, mass shootings were still rare enough to shock the nation, but now when we see the news flash, people say, “Another one?”
No sooner do we recover from one tragedy only to enter into another media spectacle of mass carnage. Once again we see the perpetrator and ask, “Why?” He wasn’t a mistreated man, yet he simmered with enough frustration that he decided to target people who had nothing to do with his problems. People are society, and since this is an assault on society, any target will do.
People are left searching for answers, and each group has an opinion. One side will claim this is the reason why guns should be banned. The other side will point out that the lack of arms turned people into sitting targets. Yet all we must do is look at the world and see that any weapon will do. With or without guns, hatred finds a way to express itself in destruction. No guns were needed to destroy the Federal Building in Oklahoma, or the Twin Towers on 9-11. When someone’s heart groans with discontentment, this can fester in many destructive ways. Or it can seek the only true way of escape. Consider the words of scripture in Romans 8:21-23
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
It is not only the Christian who eagerly awaits God’s restoration, but all of creation groans as if in birth pangs. And what happens when an expectant mother begins getting these pangs? It starts slowly, but builds in both intensity and frequency. The closer the delivery comes, the greater the birth pangs. And the more rapid these come.
Is this not what we see in the world? Not only are the natural catastrophes increasing in frequency, but so is the groanings of society as a whole. These groanings can either drive people to despair, or drive people toward deliverance.
Only the Christian has the taste of deliverance already in their lives. We are experiencing this in our spiritual fellowship with our Creator now, but our physical bodies long for the hope of our complete redemption.
Society doesn’t understand the pangs of life, so rather than being reminded of hope, tragedy creates hopelessness and sorrow. While the world asks why God would allow such tragedy, we have the opportunity to point others to the expectation of our hope. The world is under the curse of sin, but from the failure of mankind turning from the source of hope, the curse of sin drives us back to the source of all hope, the God who created us. Each pang from the curse pushes man closer to the delivery of God restoring us back to His perfect love.
I’ve said these things that you may have peace. In this world you will have troubles, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. – Jesus