Updated: Jun 2
Taking a moment to grieve with the families who lost their loved ones in the #uvaldeshooting.
Can we process this?
I had to take some time to process some things from this past week. As you know, Rochelle, we have been rocked once again with such a tragedy that has hit the news & social media outlets.
We just came up for air on the Buffalo shooting and here we are again with another shooting in Texas. I almost wanted to vomit when I heard about it because I am a mother who lost her firstborn son. Although my lost was prenatal and this was a full blown attack and shooting on young kids, the grief is still very similar. Scrambled thoughts, fear of the unknown, confused of the surrounding events, and having to realize that you won't see your child anymore and have to bury them.
My heart went out to all of those who lost their loved ones in both situations that it made me internally retreat to do some introspection.
I could not look at the news anymore or look at social media. I have already reduced my time to almost nothing on social media because it already feeds too many thoughts that are not originally mines causing unnecessary warfare, but when you wake up to another terrible incident such as these, you want to know the facts and you want action to be taken.
So as I begin to sit with God on it, I also indulged too much in the comments and responses of Believers on these incidents. As I began to pray, God began to speak to me about the "assignment of the enemy" and the three responses Kingdom citizens should have.
God first reminded me that we cannot forget that perilous times will come and this is indeed a part of the perilous times. Even though we want peace in our land, as long as the enemy is loose and there are people who do not believe in God, live without hope, will not crucify their flesh, will follow selfish ambition, and partners with the enemy, knowingly and unknowingly, there will always be another "incident".
Matter of fact, social media is a good and a bad tool because what the media did was highlight a very tragic situation when we really live in a tragic world all around us.
Somebody in our back yard was snatched for sex trafficking. Somebody next door was raped. But because these incidents were not highlighted, we can easily move on with our life and because the news outlets covered the Uvalde, TX and the Buffalo, NY stories, we are all now incited to anger, confusion, and unrest.
Now these are normal behaviors and emotions we should have, but the moment I see in these highlights is that we start to turn on each other, take sides, and the "real us" begin to show up in our words and actions.
I literally heard Christians say that they are tired of praying. Now that is a huge statement.
I heard this before with all the other highlighted tragedies we were a part of in 2020 that incited more division, upset, and hatred.
Again, I am not talking about the unbelievers. This is expected behavior. I am talking about Believers of Jesus Christ who is a part of the Kingdom of God. This is who I am talking about.
When tragedy strikes, our emotions paralyze our spiritual intelligence and we begin to move into carnality like never before. Our emotional upset begins to dismantle prayer, distrust & question God, and move towards the tragedy and confusion, leaving the places & postured God assigned us to focus on, as vacant.
This is the assignment of the enemy. He wants you to be distracted. There is a difference between being focused and aware with compassion & righteous anger and distracted, paralyzed, and in your flesh. So, with humble submission to the Holy Spirit and compassion for these situations, I have to say it reminds me of when we hit our pinky toe on the furniture.
OUCH. We are disoriented for a moment. It is painful. We want to take a seat, and we want to stop everything we are doing to tend to THAT pain. But our physical bodies cannot stop all other functions to tend to the pain in the pinky toe. There are certain cells that are released to cause inflammation around the "incident site" to care and nurture that space. Here me again - Not ALL of your cells are assigned to that area, just SOME cells are dispatched.
The whole body is aware of the pain, but the brain still has to function.
The heart still has to function.
The arms, organs, cells, liver, etc all has to continue functioning in their designed place with the awareness of the pain.
I sat in a corner trying to figure out how can I respond to situations like these and God said "by focusing on what I have assigned you to do so that your acts of kindness and the glory on your life that manifests in the places I send you can ripple throughout humanity".
That was huge for me.
I want to protest.
I want to change the laws.
I want to do something physical, but that is not what God called ME to do.
He called me to change hearts.
When I change the heart and life of ONE person, who on average interacts with 1000 people, I actually help change the lives of all of those people too. So, you may be feeling powerless. You may be tired of praying. You may be looking for God to give an answer. But God answers the same in every situation - FOCUS ON ME. Focus on what He has assigned you to do. You are not called to everybody, but you are called to somebody and you never know who that somebody is. You never know if that person was about to commit a serious offense to somebody like a shooting or a rape.
When you occupy YOUR PLACE, the devil loses that territory.
Now, some may ask, where was God in all of this? God was everywhere at the same time. We don't know all the pieces, but God, in His character, has warned the young man many times in his life but he didn't listen. The shooter may wanted to do multiple schools but the crash only allowed one school. There are a myriad of things that God did that we will never know, but the question is NOW what God did, but did WE, the human beings on the Earth, LISTEN.
Either way, I know it is bleak, and real, and terrible and tragic, but in the end, God wins and everyone who is with God, wins too. So now, here is what we can do to respond to this situation....
Pray. Pray for the families of those affected because these people are never the same. We all know what it feels like to lose someone, so let us pray with fervor that they would overcome this tragedy and experience the LIGHT instead of succumbing to the darkness. These people are going to want to commit suicide, betray their spouses, and more, but if we pray, then we can drive back the darkness. Pray that they would come into the Light and use this story for His glory. Prayer should always be our first response.
Serve. Each week, find 5 people who you do not know and do ONE random act of kindness for them. When you help show LOVE to ONE person, you help the world change. Go do some random acts of kindness this week. Pay for somebody's coffee. Carry somebody's groceries. Buy a co-worker a gift. Feed that homeless man on the corner of your street. Do something to give hope to somebody so that they won't feel so hopeless that they would want to hurt somebody else because they are in pain. The ball is in our court.
Occupy. God has been sharing with me that we all need to get into our assignments. Our assignments are distinctly different from each other. Discover where God has assigned you and take the Gospel there. Some of you are called to the church but many of us are called to an industry - marketplace, the entertainment & media fields, government & law, family & communities, education. Wherever it is, GO and occupy that space.
Here is the bigger picture -----wherever you are assigned, you will either directly or indirectly affect the issues at hand.
I know this is not a complete answer, but this is what God gave me.
This is not to eradicate natural actions like voting in elections, participating in reforms for change, etc, but don't forget that even though we can pass laws, it doesn't mean people will obey them. It can slow the destruction down, but it won't eradicate it all together. We have to change hearts. And our mandate as Believers is to preach, represent, and demonstrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God unto salvation to every nation (Romans 1:16). When we hear our call to permeate certain industries in the world, we need to stand up and represent the power of Christ in that industry without compromise and with boldness.
To sum this up, pray, serve, and occupy. Vote and be a God-given solution to mankind. Get out of your corners and rise up in the power of God for He has given us power to trample upon all serpents and scorpions and over ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY, and nothing shall by any means hurt us. (Luke 10:19).
I pray the peace of God would overshadow your life and bring you comfort. I hope this message gives you some hope in some way because it definitely gave me peace to my soul. I would love to hear how you felt this past week and what God is leading you to do. Let me. know in the comments.