God con­soles any who seek Him

Starkville Daily News - - FORUM -

Evil and wicked peo­ple walk among us. When they act out, many of us are shocked and ask

‘why,’ be­cause the vast ma­jor­ity of

Amer­i­cans be­lieve most of us are good and de­cent peo­ple.

We’ve largely re­moved God from our cul­ture be­cause we don’t need Him any more. We are well to do, and gov­ern­ment meets the needs of the poor. Things hap­pen. Life goes on.

Sun­day, Novem­ber 5, an evil and wicked man mur­dered 26 peo­ple who were wor­ship­ping in Suther­land Springs, Texas, First Bap­tist Church. The small town has about 600 res­i­dents. Me­dia swarmed the small com­mu­nity over­whelm­ing fam­ily and friends who were so badly shaken by this atroc­ity. More than likely the vast ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents were seek­ing con­so­la­tion from God. They needed some­thing big­ger than the gov­ern­ment, some­one who tran­scends mun­dane daily liv­ing.

This was the largest mass mur­der in­side a place of wor­ship in Amer­ica … if one dis­counts the deaths of 76 burned to death just out­side Waco, Texas, in April 1993. But, that’s an­other story.

One week af­ter the atroc­ity in Suther­land Springs, Sun­day morn­ing “news” pro­grams led with a he-said-she-said sex­ual ha­rass­ment scan­dal that al­legedly oc­curred nearly 40 years ago. The tim­ing of these al­le­ga­tions is po­lit­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant, and thus ‘trumps’ all but the few sec­onds me­dia elites spared to men­tion those hurt­ing in Suther­land Springs.

In the mean­time and at the same time many at­tended a memo­rial ser­vice for the 26 who died, and prayed for those still re­cov­er­ing from their phys­i­cal and emo­tional wounds. Prayers and thoughts were wel­comed there.

Fam­ily and friends of those killed in Suther­land Springs will al­ways bear heartache over their losses. God will com­fort those who seek His com­fort, but the heartache will al­ways be there like the hole left by a pulled nail. Liv­ing has con­se­quences.

The rest of us should pause to pray for all of those friends and fam­i­lies so in­ti­mately af­fected. We’re all alike. We hurt when we lose friends and fam­ily mem­bers, es­pe­cially when those losses come un­ex­pect­edly and too soon. None of us know when we will suf­fer un­ex­pected losses.

The preacher in Ec­cle­si­astes says God has put eter­nity into our hearts, and the apos­tle Paul writes to be­liev­ers in Rome that God has made Him­self ev­i­dent to ev­ery­one, and those who refuse to ac­knowl­edge God are with­out ex­cuse. Still, un­be­liev­ers among us mock those who mourn and pray with those who mourn and pray.

We are ap­proach­ing the busiest time of the year with the com­ing hol­i­days. So much to do, so lit­tle time! We’ll pause later when it’s more con­ve­nient. Or, we’ll just for­get about evil and wicked peo­ple who walk among us un­til the next time one or more of them act out. Maybe it won’t hap­pen to us.

In Mac­beth, Shake­speare wrote, “Life’s but a walk­ing shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an id­iot, full of sound and fury, sig­ni­fy­ing noth­ing.” I sup­pose that’s how many look at life.

Ev­ery now and then it be­hooves us to pause and con­sider oth­ers who are hurt­ing for what­ever rea­sons, and of­fer prayers and thoughts of com­fort for them. Evil and wicked peo­ple walk among us, but God con­soles any who seek Him.

Daniel L. Gard­ner is a syn­di­cated colum­nist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may con­tact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com, or in­ter­act with him on the Clar­ion-Ledger web site http://www.clar­i­on­ledger.com/story/opin­ion/


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