Reflections on Los Vegas

The pops rang out among the audience, bodies dropped to the ground, people screamed, and I sat in my living room watching it on TV, trying to understand why and how and who. Like you, I couldn't comprehend how somebody could get to the mental state where killing dozens of strangers was okay. I automatically wanted to blame it on ISIS, surely only they would do something like this, and if not them, then who? The biggest question was WHY? Why would somebody pre-plan an attack like this? Why would this happen in our world?

And then, as I was praying for the victims and the families of the deceased, as I was calling out to God for answers, as I'm sure many of you did too, I was once again struck by the truth that our world is broken. Shattered beyond repair, unfixable. We walk with a limp. Many things have happened in the past year, here in New Zealand, while I was in Uganda and all around the world on the news, that continue to shock me and when I cry out to God in agony and disappointment He reminds me that this world is irreparable. That darkness dwells amongst us. That there is spiritual force that longs to bring us down, all of us, because we are all God's children. And then God reminds me that this is not how he designed it to be.

When Earth began, God created it in all its glory. He created all things good (because He is our good Father) and when he created humans He gave everything to them to enjoy, the one restriction being the Tree of Life. Now most of you probably know this story and how Adam and Eve disobeyed the one rule they were given and darkness (also known as sin) entered the good and perfect world. Every day we now have a choice. Everyday we choose to build relationship with God or to turn away from Him. To live in the light or to walk in the dark. To believe and build faith or to keep going, hoping one day things will get better and blaming it on a god we don't believe in when it doesn't.

We can say that the Los Vegas shootings were far more extreme than any sin I've committed. We can proclaim to be 'not that bad' but God doesn't have a measuring tape for sin. Sin is sin. There's no size to it, no 'it's okay to sin this much but not this much.' It's all sin.

I've sinned. Today? Yes. I don't say that in proud terms, but in a way that makes me guilty and in desperate need of a saviour. Luckily for us that's what God gave us. Jesus is our chance to walk in the light, to believe and build faith. He doesn't promise us sunshine and roses, in fact quite the opposite. He promises storms, trials, persecutions even. What He also promises us is that He will never leave us. We are always on His mind as we stumble our way through this broken world.
He is especially fond of you.

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