I just saw a breaking news headline that began with "Active Shooter." We've seen too many of these lately. Too much violence. Too much hatred. Too much anger. A four-year-old was shot and killed in a road rage incident in Albuquerque. Multiple bombings have taken place in Turkey, Nigeria, Cameroon. Mass killings in Paris. Multiple racist shootings in Minneapolis.
Seeing "Active Shooter" in the headline makes me sick to my stomach, but it also revealed to me a way in which God has been molding me. My first response was to bow my head and pray. I prayed for the shooter(s), that they might find peace and hope in Jesus Christ instead hatred or anger. I prayed for the victims, three of whom appear to be police officers, that they might have non-life-threatening wounds, that they might get help quickly, and that they would know the healing touch of God, our Father. I prayed for those bystanders who weren't injured, that they might escape injury and find the peace of God in the midst of this terror.
Mind you, I am not bragging about my own ability to pray; this is GOD'S work in me. My usual response would be to feel sad and helpless. I recognized in today's response that God is continuing to work in me, as promised in Philippians 1:6. And that is a great joy for me!
I love the idea that I am not finished... that God is still working in me... that someday God will carry this work to completion. This is hope.
In this world of "active shooters" and other terror and tragedy, we must cling to hope, to the promises that God has made that, in the end, all things work for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
In times of fear and worry, turn to Him.