Senseless Shootings: Saving Grace

How did you react when you heard about the recent shootings of innocent young people at Oregon College? Did your emotions run the gamut through horror, grief, disgust, fear, rage, and numbness? How do we process such atrocities? We need supernatural help.

The Bible addresses this issue in surprising ways. It does not tell us to figure out why the wrongdoer committed such a crime or whether he was evil or deranged. It doesn’t give those with bad backgrounds a pass. It just calls wrong evil and tells us how to find comfort in God and make right choices in spite of the wickedness that takes place around us.

Psalm 37 is one such resource. Since I’ve talked about this Psalm’s wisdom on dealing with mean people before (click here), I won’t spend much time on it now. Suffice it to say, it shows us that drawing near to God—not understanding evil—brings genuine comfort. It turns our focus to what we can do and reminds us that God will take care of the wrongdoer and of us.

God’s justice is always righteous. He is the only one who knows the intentions of hearts, and He perfectly rewards each one accordingly. He’s given governments the authority to carry out earthly retribution. See Romans 13:1-4.

The second passage that came to mind records Jesus’ response when someone asked Him about a similar tragedy that had happened. “About this time he was informed that Pilate had butchered some Jews from Galilee as they were sacrificing at the Temple in Jerusalem.

‘Do you think they were worse sinners than other men from Galilee?’ he asked. ‘Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And don’t you realize that you also will perish unless you leave your evil ways and turn to God?’” (Luke 13:1-3, TLB).

Jesus used this tragedy to remind us that we need to live every day ready to face our eternal judge. Death comes to everyone—sometimes when we least expect it. For the one who knows Jesus, death is not perishing. It is the door to heaven. God Himself holds the hands of His children and carries us safely home. Those who have this hope need never fear death.

Some things are too horrible to comprehend. Others are too wonderful to understand. That Jesus would become sin for us so that we might have eternal life falls into the list of wonders. We don’t have to understand either to grieve the losses of innocent lives or receive God’s comfort and hope. The question Jesus asks us is this: if today is your appointment with death, are you ready?

Only Jesus can heal broken hearts and transform murderous hate. May this tragedy ignite our prayers. Will you join me today in praying for our young people, educators, and leaders to experience the saving and transformational power of Jesus Christ?  Click here to say “yes” and to comment.


Debbie W. Wilson

Sometimes I link to the following great sites: #TestimonyTuesday, #Titus2Tuesday, #IntentialTuesday, #TuesTalk, #Tell it to me Tuesdays, #w2wwordfilledwednesday, #Wedded Wednesday, #Women with Intention,  #LivefreeThursday, #WordswithWinter, #Grace and Truth,

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  1. Marilyn Couch

    I’m praying with you, Debbie.
    Only Jesus Christ can change
    & transform our hearts. That is the power of the Cross. May
    His Kingdom come, His Will be
    done on earth as it is in Heaven.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Marilyn!

  2. Ann

    I definitely say a resounding “yes!” You said, ” we need to live every day ready to face our eternal judge. Death comes to everyone—sometimes when we least expect it.” That is so timely for me as you know. But in light of these shootings, my heart breaks for these wonderful young people and their families. There is only One Answer – and it is Jesus.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Ann! And may He comfort your heart.

  3. Melissa

    Yes, I am praying. God is with us.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Wonderful, Melissa.

  4. Renee Peeblez

    YES have bedn and will continue by joining with you in prayer!

    Debbie please continue praying about my grandsons situation. He has recently spoken.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I will, Renee. Since God can manage the universe, I know we can trust Him to work through this in a way that is beyond all we can ask or imagine. But it is still difficult to go through.

  5. Renee Peeblez

    He has recently spoken up & CPS is involved again

  6. Cheryl

    Wonderful post, Debbie. Yes. Jesus Christ is the answer and we His body must continue to pray and be the light in these dark times. Blessings to you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Cheryl. Thanks so much.

  7. Beth

    It is natural for us in times of grief to ask all the “why” questions, but it’s much more productive to answer the “how” questions, like you’ve suggested to us here, Debbie. We may never know the answers to the why questions and often the answers don’t bring comfort to us, like doing something about our little slice of the world. Thanks for reminding us of how to be proactive in the face of yet another tragedy for our country. And I will join you in praying for our nation and especially the victims of this horrendous event.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Beth. I don’t understand how prayer works, but my Bible tells me it does make a difference—in our world and in the prayer.

  8. Crystal Storms

    So true, Debbie, “drawing near to God—not understanding evil—brings genuine comfort.” I pray these events draw us to our knees … draw us closer to Him. Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank, you, Crystal!

  9. Pam

    Thanks, Deb, for this “on the mark” post. One thing that especially impacted me about Oregon was also the report that Christians were targeted and needed to make a decision at the moment about whether they would stand for Him or deny Him. The first one who answered in truth was heard by everyone else who then had to make a decision after seeing the result. Let us all also be ready and sure of our belief and stand for Him.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Pam, that is such a scary thought. I pray God will supply the grace to stand when my weakness would want to hide. He helped Daniel and his buddies. I trust He will us too.

  10. Mary Hill

    Yes, I am praying for Oregon still. I don’t know why, but I love that by focusing on God we don’t have to know why. We just need to know that He sees it as evil and that He is the answer to all evil. Thanks for sharing.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Mary. I love simple. 🙂

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