When the children and women were murdered at Newtown, Connecticut, where was God? How can an all-loving, all-knowing, all-present God allow such horror to happen? Why didn’t He stop it? Why would He intervene in so many things in life – or so people give Him credit – and not stop this massacre of innocents?
God was there. So, was evil. Probably madness – a very evil madness.
Horrible, awful, terrible, destructive, grotesque, painful, screaming in revulsion, fury and agony things have happened since Cain murdered Abel. Ever since men could use their free will, many have used it for evil. God doesn’t stop all evil before the end of time. Until then, God fixes evil. The Bible says all things work to good for Christians. Working to good doesn’t mean stopping evil. It means making good happen after evil. It means good surviving and triumphing surrounded by evil. Even at Newtown.
At the instant of death, the children were in Heaven. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Absent the body, present the Lord.” The children were under the age of consent. Thay all went to Heaven. There, the strong arms of Jesus and the overwhelming warm love and joy of the Father embraced the children immediately. As much as Mothers know the breadth, depth and abiding power of their love for their children, the love of God is many – thousands – times greater. Yes, it is so. Heaven is that wonderful and God is that great.
There are no tears in Heaven. Not even sweet tears of joy. The children will never be sad for what they missed in this life. Yet, the parents ache for all that is lost.
This is a time to grieve with the parents, family, friends and community. It’s a time to weep. Weeping lasts through the night. But, joy comes in the morning. Joy abounds in Heaven – already for the children. The hope for a joyful reunion awaits those for whom all things work to good. Until then, the gaping, jagged wound in the hearts of so many needs the balm that can only come from Lord Jesus Christ. Nowhere else. Nothing else. God can make this moment bearable – survivable. Survivable to live to do good works.
God was at Newtown. God is still in Newtown. And, God is in Heaven. God is with us, because God in man, our Emmanuel – Jesus, lived, died and lives again – lives now.
Joseph was warned in a dream to flee to Egypt with baby Jesus. King Herod murdered all the male babies. Rachel weeped for her children and could not be consoled. God was there. God is here.