As thousands of people settled in at a Las Vegas music festival on the night of October 1st, 2017, nobody dreamed that such a happy celebration could so quickly turn into a nightmare. Fifty-nine people lost their lives, and over 500 more were left seriously injured when a shooter opened fire during the concert. As I watched the news report come in, I was left speechless and heavyhearted.
In the aftermath of such a tragic event, I find one of the questions on many people’s minds is “Why does God let things like this happen?” I encourage people to remember that God is not the author of evil, the enemy is. John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (NIV).
We have two choices in a situation like this: to allow the evil in this world to stomp out our lights of hope, or to cling even harder to what is good.
Philippians 4:8 tells us “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (NIV).
In the aftermath of this tragedy, it’s okay to feel sad; God doesn’t abandon us in tough times, He draws closer.
Matthew 5:4 tells us, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (NIV). God’s love will ease our sadness. He wants to raise us up, so we can be His first responders, using our lights of hope to pierce the darkness.
When our hearts are troubled, we can find comfort in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (NIV). We have to allow circumstances like these to bring us closer to God—the one true comforter.
In the midst of my mourning, I celebrate and honor the lives of those who were lost. I pray that even horrific events like this can be used for good; I pray this teaches us to see one another as precious, not only in the wake of tragedy but in our everyday lives.
May we always be God’s first responders when the world is overcome with shadows, and may our prayers raise up the brokenhearted and guide them to God’s love.
Prayer: We lift up our prayers for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. We pray for healing for their families as they mourn the loss of loved ones and try to pick up the pieces. We pray emotional and physical healing over those who are still in recovery. God, we know that you are with us, right by our side. We pray you grant them rest and whisper hope into their hearts once again.