Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Man Means for Evil

One of the unfortunate realities about my preparing for a legislative session is that I totally lose track of what is happening outside the realm of the Texas Capitol. On Saturday, as we were setting up the office, one of the employees noted the alert he had received on his cell phone that a U.S. Congresswoman had been shot at a political event. Our cable was not functioning so, not privy to any additional details, we prayed for the congresswoman and carried on with our duties.

Briefly over the weekend I heard various snippets of information. Six dead - including a federal judge and a nine-year-old- little girl. Fourteen wounded. The congresswoman was shot in the head. The blame game is already in full swing, complete with pointing fingers and rising tempers. The political right makes people angry and angry people shoot people. The political left is trying to end political disagreement by blaming the right.

It would behoove us all to keep a few facts in mind during this and other disagreeable situations.

  1. The man who opened fire in this scenario did not do so because of his political persuasion, he did so because he was mentally deranged. He did not, in fact, have any right leaning political beliefs. But, even if he had, it would have been the mental illness, not the political belief that prompted him to pull the trigger.
  2. God’s ways are not our ways. We simply do not have to capacity to understand why or how the Lord allows some things to happen. If I, as a created being, believed I could understand all that God knows and does, it would make my God small indeed - no larger than my comprehension. I am okay with not understanding everything.
  3. God can use evil for good. In Genesis when Joseph was sold into captivity by his brothers, they were relieving themselves of a pesky brother. God, on the other hand, was preparing for the salvation of an entire race of people. Go figure. Who knew?
Things will always happen that exceed human comprehension. Why the senseless killing? Why the death of a loved one? Why the outcome of a political race? Why the failure of a grassroots campaign? Don’t fret over these things. Your circumstances do not change the character or nature of God. And, no amount of worry on your part will change the outcome.

Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Gen. 50:19-20

Lord, help me to look for You in the circumstances surrounding me. Do not allow me lean on my own understanding. Amen

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