Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” ~ John 8:12(What I have written today is less a devotional and more a commentary I think. I just felt the need to write out my feelings...hope you don't mind this brief side-trip with me.)
As we continue to mourn the horrid and tragic loss of the children and teachers at Shady Hook Elementary School…attention has also turned to the killer and what would have caused him to do such an evil thing. One of the prevailing discussions surrounding him is that he suffered from a mental illness.
In a short time…our nations leaders and the outspoken people in various organizations across our country will step away from grieving. The discussion will focus not only about the type of guns used, but now perhaps for the first time...mental illness will become a more serious debate in how it has played a part in the mass killing across our nation.
In our human desire to find a logical reason for something so horrifically illogical as killing small innocent children, we have this need inside us to find the fault...and then proceed with it's cure in human terms, hoping we can fix this problem.
The discussion surrounding mental illness and our nation's limited laws and the healthcare system's inadequate response, defiantly needs our attention. There is also a great need to provide help and resources for the family members of those who are suffering a mental illness.
Sadly…however, I fear in all the discussions about what can be done to prevent another school mass killing and the cost of implementing those measures...we will find ourselves again overlooking and ignoring the one thing that is most beneficial and will not cost even one penny. Seek God and follow His moral teachings.
I truly believe that instilling a moral compass through faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ in our children (adults too) can be the beginning of mental health. To teach our young to pray and to turn to God when life seems hard and unfair...or feelings of anger and frustration are too hard to control...may become the pivotal moment that stops the evil that lives in each of us to thrive and grow and react.
I'm not saying because someone is a Christian they can not be afflicted with mental illness...no more than I would be able to say being a Christian can keep you from being afflicted with cancer or any other horrid disease. However…is it so unreasonable to believe that when God's ways are taught and believed...when God’s love is being lived out in the lives of others nearest them and in their own lives...that the mentally ill person who is harboring the evils of anger and hate...yet has the spirit who knows God...just might hear "that still small voice" of God and not act upon those hateful feelings by killing? How will we ever know the answer to this if we don’t try instilling the knowledge of God’s ways into our lives?
We are only fooling ourselves if we don't recognize we all have evil thoughts inside us. Christians are no less a flawed human in these things. Yet..sadly for anyone who reject godly thoughts...their evil thoughts become their actions.
We will always have evil in this world until Jesus returns and makes all things new. Until that day...perhaps we would have a lot less evil acted out here on earth…if we had more Jesus acting in each of us.
"Dear Lord, Today, please cover the hearts of the broken hearted in your comfort and love. I pray that the deaths of these young children and their brave teachers and principal will produce in the hearts of our nation's people a greater desire and understanding that we desperately need your healing touch in us…we need your Presence in our lives.
I thank you for all the good in this world and all the protection you give us Lord…for we do not deserve it…yet your compassion and love for us compels you to provide it just the same. I love how you love us Lord.
I trust you Abba Father with what I cannot understand about Your ways. It brings me comfort and a sense of peace to my troubled heart to know that You have not asked me to understand...but to simply trust You and know that You are still very much in control. I do not need to fear tomorrow for you are already there...preparing and providing all that is needed to accomplish the good you have planned since the beginning of time.
I am given encouragement and courage in knowing that no evil can stand in your Presence Lord…that it will flee even at the mention of your name! So Lord…I pray in the name of Jesus…take my evil thoughts and my evil words and deeds from me. Heal my broken heart Lord by breaking it with what break yours. I am drawn nearer to you because You have drawn near to me. May all who are struggling right now Lord seek You and find the peace that only can be found in You. In Jesus, name I pray all these things, Amen.”