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Our nation witnessed a terrible tragedy in Waukesha, a suburb of Wisconsin, on Sunday. An SUV sped through the small-town Christmas parade, hitting dozens and killing at least five.
I can’t imagine the driver’s intentions. But the pain we feel when we see such an innocent celebration turn into such a violent scene is more than we can tolerate. We spent nearly two years fighting the epidemic.
Vakeesha victims of Christmas parade: 5 killed
Happy local traditions such as the Waukesha Christmas Parade mark the return of normalcy, communal living and good old-fashioned fun. And now it is.
Older questions take on a new urgency as we face such a terrible event. Where was God? Why does he allow this?
After 40 years of advising people through tragedies, I want you to remember.
First of all, remember that hardship and evil were not part of God’s original design for this world. When we look at things like what happened in Waukesha, we all have the insight that things don’t have to be like this. That’s the truth. That response and that impulse in us comes from God.
Waukesha native describes scene of chaotic Christmas parade, suspect’s cash bail
God designed a “very good” world free from misery and evil. The temptations of Satan and the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, brought the curse of God upon the world and the futility and brokenness we all experience.
Second, remember that grief is real but not permanent. The evils of mankind and the plans of Satan, along with natural disasters and disasters — all have an expiration date. Christ’s return will end badly. Jesus Christ renews the order He created.
As this world is broken, it will not break forever.
Third, in the meantime, as we await the return of Christ, remember that God has established a government to fight evil and promote human prosperity. The horrific scenes in Waukesha were heroic scenes as police officers opened fire on a rogue vehicle in an attempt to save the lives of innocent bystanders.
First-responders were quickly on the scene, treating the affected wounds. These institutions of justice and mercy reduce human suffering and are part of God’s design.
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Fourthly and finally, remember that no evil in this world can separate you from the love of God. One of the best ways we honor the victims of the Waukesha Christmas Parade is to remember when they are dead.
God did not leave us alone in our affliction — he entered our affliction. That’s what we celebrate at Christmas. Christ took the human flesh, and then He fell asleep on the cross and died. If we believe in Him, nothing will happen to us that will separate us from His love that was poured out for us on the cross.
The tragic irony that this tragedy took place at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. The apostle Paul’s command to “give thanks for all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) seems impossible and cruel in the light of the terrible event in Wisconsin.
Waukesha residents should be grateful this week? The same thing that Jesus gave “thanks” during the Last Supper shortly before his execution. This life is brutal and painful, and there is something better waiting for all believers.
As this world is broken, it will not break forever. The Bible promises that when the Prince of Peace returns, he will “rule over every tear from our eyes” (Revelation 21: 4).
Click here to read more from Dr. Robert Jeffress