When Your Heart Hurts

Within the last two months there have been two school shootings that I’ve heard of. Some news outlets are saying that there have been 18 school shootings since the beginning of 2018, however; that figure is being disputed as inaccurate. The latest one was on Valentine’s Day, of all things. It has taken me a couple of days to process this all, as the latest one was only two days ago. The one last month occurred not far from where I live, about an hour and a half away. This region has been rocked to its very core. Two students died at the hands of another student, and the shooting recently took 17 lives by a former student. These were high schools. Parents and whole communities are being rocked by the violence being inflicted on our children.

I never was able to give birth or adopt, however; I am a step-parent and grandparent, and it gives me such joy to be able to say that. Even though those kids and grandkids are not of my own blood, I love them as if I raised them myself, and I would be absolutely insane at the thought of any one of them being hurt or killed by another person.

Once again, the debate over gun control is raging as everyone from politicians to parents are screaming for something to be done. I usually don’t get involved in political debates, however; this time I feel I must put in my “two cents worth.”

I lived in a state for 10 years that is very much pro-gun. There are a lot of hunters, and as you drive down the road, it’s nothing to see a pickup truck with a gun rack in the back window with guns on it. I’ve also lived in a state where that was not allowed. What I discovered was, there was less gun violence in the pro-gun state than in the, for lack of a better phrase, anti-gun state. I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of gun ownership, just let me say, I’ve never seen a gun shoot itself. The problem isn’t with the gun, it’s with the hearts of those who engage in gun violence.

Romans 1:28 sounds like our society today, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (KJV) The New American Standard Bible puts it this way, “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper.”

I believe we can trace the beginning of this time of violence and flagrant disregard for others, back to the day that prayer and the Ten Commandments being displayed in school was banned. At that point, our society basically said, “We don’t need God.” The whole separation of church and state thing is being totally misinterpreted. There no longer is discipline in our schools, parents are afraid to physically discipline their children for fear that DCFS will come swooping in and take their children away, and in the meantime, our children are suffering because of all of this. They no longer know the Bible stories the people of my generation all knew well, because they have never stepped foot in a church. They don’t know that they can have a friend in Jesus who can help them when they are confused and hurt. The children grow up with a sense of entitlement because no one has ever told them, “no,” and therefore they go out into the world believing the world owes them. When they don’t get what they want they throw a hissy fit in various ways.

Granted, this is not the only issue plaguing us. There are a small minority who seriously have mental issues, and the community sort of throws up their hands and says, “We don’t know what to do with these folks” and hand out pills that may not alleviate the situation. Notice, I said may not. In a vast portion of people, the medication does work. However, not all, and there are so many variables in how to help them.

I believe that mostly our problems today stem from the fact that our country has rejected God, and so God has finally said, “OK, if that’s what you want, have at it” and He has taken His hands off of us, and we are left with the situation we have today.

From where I stand, the only solution to resolving this problem, is for our country to get on its knees, repent, and turn its heart back to God. America needs an attitude adjustment! The Bible gives us the solution in II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” It is time we, as a country, get on our knees and beg for God’s forgiveness for our rebellion.

Through all of this, God sees what is happening. He sees the violence, He sees those whose lives have been snuffed out at the hands of another, He sees the hurt, anger, sorrow, and grief of those left behind. Psalm 86:15 says, “But thou, O Lord, are a God of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” (KJV) God’s heart breaks at all of the suffering we endure. His heart also breaks because we refuse to hearken to His voice and follow His leading. Jesus demonstrated His compassion when He looked over Jerusalem. Luke 19:41-42 says, “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.” (KJV) Jesus was saddened that the people refused to see who He was or listen to His teaching. They rejected Him. Matthew recorded it like this. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wing, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37 KJV)

God today is looking down on us and lamenting the disobedience, rebellion, hatred, and refusal to come to Him and weeping. His heart is broken!

Those who have lost loved ones in these tragedies, please know that God knows exactly how you feel. You see, He experienced the sorrow of seeing His Son be sacrificed on the cross. God knows your heart is breaking, He knows the pain you are suffering, and He longs to take you in His arms and hold you tight. He also longs to draw you to Himself and wants you to become His child. If you would surrender your heart to Him, ask for His forgiveness, and make Him Lord, Master, and Savior of your life, you will have peace in your heart like nothing you have ever experienced. The Bible says, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2b KJV) Accept Jesus into your life now, you will never regret it!

 

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