There’s no shortage of depressing news these days. Terrorism, refugees, mass shootings, corruption and cover ups, and senseless crimes committed against children. It’s enough to drag down even the most optimistic among us.
What do you do with all of this?
To be clear, I’m not looking to answer the why does God allow bad things to happen question. It’s not that I don’t think there are good answers to that question…I just don’t believe that’s a helpful question to ask in the midst of tragedies. Trying to understand horrific acts of violence is a fools game…the answers are never good enough. And I would argue that we’re not really looking for answers…what we’re really looking for is something to make us feel better. We’re scared or sad and we think that if we have an answer, we won’t be scared or sad anymore. I don’t believe it works that way. I believe the way toward healing and wholeness (feeling better) is to honor those emotions and invite God to meet you in them. I believe that’s an individual journey each of us need to take, but to give you an idea of what it might look like, here’s what it looks like for me.
As I hear about these tragedies, I feel sad…I feel overwhelming sadness at the brokenness of our world, for the victims and their loved ones, and for the hurting individual who carried out such a horrific act. Through prayer, I take those feelings to God…Like a child who looks to their earthly father for love and comfort, I turn to my heavenly Father and tell him that I’m sad. I’m reminded that God grieves with those who grieve (John 11 – the death of Lazarus). That my sadness is not foreign to Him (Isaiah 53:3). And I’m reminded that one day He will make it all better (Revelation 21:4). This process allows me to be honest about my feeling of sadness and find comfort in my heavenly Father. It helps me feel OK with the sadness and reminds me that it won’t always be this way.
Have you ever brought your emotions before God and invited Him into what you’re feeling? I invite you to try it.