Whenever a major national tragedy such as the Aurora theater shooting occurs, reports always come out asking “where was God in this?” The same happened following 9/11, the tsunami, and the Haitian earthquake. The implication seems to be that since God is supposedly a good God, why would He allow such horrible things to happen. Another implication often hurled at Christians is: if God was working in the world during Biblical times, where is He today when we need Him?
Thinking about this, something new hit me. If God had done something to prevent the Aurora shooting, how would we know about it? We wouldn’t! So who are we to say that God is no longer working in the world? Perhaps He has prevented thousands of instances like Aurora? Something to think about.
What this line of reasoning does leave to show though is that God did allow Aurora to happen. So, why? Well, first let’s clarify… just because Aurora happened does not mean God was not working. How do we know if particular bullets were deflected from potential victims? Perhaps. That still leaves the issue that some people did lose their life… so how does that work under God’s good control?
Well, I think first we need to realize that people do die. That’s a result of the fall: man choosing a life separate from God. But can God work through our disobedience? Absolutely, of course! I believe the Bible teaches that God has a plan for each one of us. I also believe we can choose to ignore this mission. I believe that as long as we are fulfilling God’s mission for our lives, that we are protected. Which then leads to the alternate: as soon as our mission is over, God’s protection is removed from us. That also goes for those who ignore God’s mission for their lives for too long. God will not wait, He will find someone else willing to do it, and those are no longer under His protection.
It is therefore my opinion that those who lost their lives in Aurora has either completed their mission, or ignored it long enough that God had removed His protection from them. Some would digress and say “well what about the young people”? That accusation assumes that missions can only be achieved in adulthood. I don’t agree. Get this…. perhaps someone’s mission was to die there that day. Perhaps their death leads another individual to create an organization or fund that ends up blessing a multitude of people.
Personally, my wife and I lost our first child in the womb when she was only 16 weeks old. At the time it seems like a huge tragedy, and to us it was. What was my daughter’s mission? At the time, it seems pointless for her to have had such as short life. Now I see it clear as day. My wife is the most incredible mother I’ve ever seen. I believe she has a love and heart towards our current three children that she wouldn’t have had if she had not endured the pain and trials that came with the miscarriage. My daughter’s mission was to inspire my wife to be the best mother to our future children! Amazing how God works through apparent tragedies. He sees the big picture. Faith is us trusting Him through the process, and that someday we will know why certain things happen.
God was not absent in Aurora. He is still in control. If you reading this and are alive today, that means you have a God-given mission to complete. To quote the new Batman movie; once you are done or give up on it – you have His permission to die. It’s often hard for anyone to remember that we are actually immortal, eternal beings just making a quick stop on Earth for one mission on our way to the next.