Newtown, Connecticut. This image portrays a picturesque view of a peaceful northeastern town. We grieved as we saw this peaceful picture shattered last Friday, when 20 children and 6 adults were mercilessly gunned down, their lives ended without cause.
What has come of our world? we cry. Our spirits are crushed. Where was God? we ask. Our hearts fail. How did this happen? we wonder. Our minds grasp for answers.
So we blame the media. We cry out for gun control. Or more rights to bear arms. Maybe we grasp at feelings of justice when we proclaim that the man who did this is in a place of eternal suffering. We share social media posts about the lack of care or misunderstandings about those with mental illness. We’re glad we homeschool. We believe psychotropic drugs are the criminals. Or that society is responsible. We believe that the God of the Bible has been pushed out of the schools too long. We blame God. Or wonder if there is one.
I imagine these thoughts, which swirl around the internet, the dinner table or phone conversations can only begin to scratch at the surface of the cries of agony from the families of the precious lives lost.
Are there any clear answers? 

That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

It’s all happened before. But this time around, it’s fresh in our mind. Inconceivable. Who is responsible?

For the wages of sin is death… Romans 6:23

A fallen world. It’s what we live in and what we’ve played a part in. That sin problem is one we all have. I know people don’t like to hear that. I don’t either.

But it is what it is. There’s no escaping it. If nothing else has convinced you that evil indeed exists, Friday’s tragedy must have struck a chord. That evil was on full display in a way that none of us can comprehend.

In the end, there’s no law of the land that will fix this particular problem. No government solution. Programs and outreach, education and safety measures, are all things that are good, beneficial and even necessary {although we might disagree on which ones would be most helpful!}. I find myself wondering, though, if they will only treat the symptoms and not the cause.

What then is the treatment? The solution that will fix all of this?

It isn’t an answer that will please everyone. It’s probably rather offensive at times. And in some ways, I get that. Because as a Christian, I have questions too. I feel anger, disbelief, helplessness. Nothing compared to the families and friends of the victims, by any means. But many of us are experiencing these things right now with abandon. And rightfully so. Yet here is where we can find comfort.

…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23b

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Grace! Love! Hope! The glorious mercy of the Father given to us through the Son. That sin problem of ours he took upon Himself on the cross. Nothing we’ve done to earn it. We’re separated from Him, but He wants to bring us to Himself because of His love. Just like He loves each life taken too soon.

A hearse carrying the body of Jack Pinto, 6, one of the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, arrives at Newtown Village Cemetary, on December 17, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut. Funerals began in the little Connecticut town of Newtown after the school massacre that took the lives of 20 small children and six staff, triggering new momentum for a change to America's gun culture. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND, AFP/Getty Images / 2012 AFP
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My faith is what sustains me and gives me great peace. But I’m realizing that there aren’t always necessarily answers to the difficult questions, at least right away. Can we trust God? Yes. But is it always easy? No. {It’s that human nature thing getting in the way again.}
So what can we do? 
We can love our children. Teach them to value life. We can love others. We may not know what they’re going through, but we can offer comfort, sharing with them the peace we have in Christ. We can tell them about His love, even when it’s hard. Even when the message is met with spite or when people think it’s just a cop-out. We can help the people of Sandy Hook {there’s a great list of places to donate here}. We can trust God. Really! And we can pray. Above all, we can pray. Just as they’ve asked us to.
And you know what? Sometimes that’s all we can do. Because as a Christian, I don’t have all the answers. But I have hope. And it’s my prayer that you do too.
Share your thoughts, peacefully, if you’d like, in the comments. 

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7 Comments on Because Christians Don’t Have all the Answers {My Thoughts on the Newtown Tragedy}

  1. Oh Jenn, this message is so needed! We are living in a world gone wrong where everybody thinks their view is right. WE can’t fix this! But allowing our hearts to be transformed by a God who can truly is the answer. The ONLY answer! Thanks, girl!

  2. Well stated Jenn. Prayer is powerful and sometimes that’s all we can do. This world will never be perfect but that doesn’t mean we don’t keep trying to help, comfort, understand, love and teach. I am heartsick for all the children and their families and extended families. God’s peace be with them.

  3. Well said Jenn. All we can do really, is pray. Prayer is valuable and effective. I am helpless but for the grace and love that God provides. All those little lives (and adults too) that had such potential. I have to believe that God comforted and was with them during their last minutes in this world. Nothing that we can do as humans is going to take evil from the world…but that doesn’t mean we don’t try to help, comfort, educate, sacrifice and keep trying.

  4. Well written. I’ve been having those thoughts tumbling through my head as well. It bothers me that everyone wants to blame someone or something. It’s simply a fallen world we live in. Makes us look forward to heaven where all things will be made new, where there will be no sadness, and where we will be with our Heavenly Father.

  5. Wow. I loved this post. There is so much blame going around, but when I hear people blame God or accuse Him of being MIA on Friday, it breaks my heart all the more. As Christians, we have to be able to articulate an honest answer. Clearly, you’ve done that here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  6. You’re right. There are no easy answers to our questions. Tragedy and unjust suffering have always been a part of our world since the fall of mankind. We can just be grateful that we have a God we can trust even when we can’t understand.

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