However, as I was waking up I received an early text from a close friend asking me if I had seen the news yet. I had not.
I turned on the news and the sights that greeted me turned my morning into a sad morning, a different morning than I had planned.
As I watched video of the complete panic, the fallen bodies and crying reports from news interviews in Las Vegas, I thought about the morning that was greeting at least 50 families with the news of unexpected loss. I prayed for the families that still may not be sure if their loved ones survived or not. I can't imagine such terror.
We have a Crossroads' team serving in Texas to recover the loss of property and help to re-build the ability of families there to return to regular life following the hurricane and multiple tornadoes.
I also know one man from Crossroads who is serving in Puerto Rico as they attempt to even evaluate the level of loss they've experienced.
Why? Why does God allow this to happen?
We believe we have a God who already knows these things will happen, a God that could prevent these things from happening, a God that created the very human beings that cause this type of tragedy - our human minds can't understand why.
Lee Strobel says this in regard to why God doesn't just stop evil from happening,
"So, first, it helps me to remember, as I ponder the mystery of pain and evil, that God did not create them. Though suffering isn’t good, God can use it to accomplish good.
He does this by fulfilling His promise in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Notice that the verse doesn’t say God causes evil and suffering, just that he promises to cause good to emerge."
It is the free hand of human beings that make evil things happen. God allows free choice. Our hands can create evil or care for the needy - it's our choice how we spend our lives.
Lee goes on to explain in regard to 'natural disasters' that "even nature groans over the disruption of God's perfect design -Romans 8:22 says, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
My limited human mind can not understand the evil that caused Stephen Paddock to decide this shooting was the answer to whatever tortured him. I'm sad to assume that this shooter will now spend eternity separated from God - another seemingly pointless existence.
But now those of us who know the Lord have another opportunity to encourage the lost toward a secure future with Christ. Drawing closer to our God and pointing others to security in Him is the only thing that gives purpose to our lives here in an evil world.
Will you let tragedy draw you closer to Him? Or will you become bitter over the act of a troubled human's actions last night?