"Be unceasing and persistent in prayer;" 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (AMP)
Today (Tuesday) an unspeakable tragedy took place in Uvalde, Texas. A teenage young man walked into an elementary school, took aim, and opened fire. As I write this, they are reporting 19 second, third and fourth grade children have lost their lives, as have 2 adults. This does not count the shooter, who was killed by law enforcement.
As the parents who have not yet located their students await news, we are all horrified, and hopefully, lifting them up in our prayers. In the coming days these mothers and fathers will be planning for the burial of their slain young ones after which they will struggle in grief to come to terms with the smiles they will never again see, the goodnight hugs and kisses that will never again take place, the Christmas stockings that will never again be filled and the futures that have been taken away forever.
I wish I could write that this is a one time occurrence, however, sadly, it is not. Our children have been targets for years. Whether in schools, on the streets or in their own homes, hearing of young lives lost due to violence has become a regular report on the daily news.
And we ask God why He didn't prevent this from happening.
Because we were given free will, there will always be those that will choose evil. They will fail to see the value of human life and will think nothing of stealing life from those who treasure it. Just as He will not take away my choices, neither will He take away theirs. When we do anything against His will, when we sin in any way, our actions will affect others. Unfortunately. this was a sin that ended the lives of precious children and has forever changed the lives of countless others.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
So, what can we do? First and foremost, we have to commit to prayer. This world, its leaders, each and every child and adult, needs to covered by prayer. The power of going before the Father on our knees is greater than any other power that exists. Second, we have to be serious about sharing the Gospel. We must be vocal about the need for Jesus in this world. Although we may think everyone knows, they don't. I'm not talking about church-life, I'm talking about a relationship with the risen King of Kings.
My heart is aching for parents that will not take their children home this evening. I am beseeching the Comforter to wrap His arms tightly around them and walk with them through all that is coming. I can't imagine the devastation they are feeling but I know that their Creator knows and cares deeply. As I lift them up in my time with Him tonight, I lift each of you as well.
I pray that His goodness, mercy and grace will surround us all.