A Commentary on the Texas Shooting

In the wake of the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas, there have been many comments from media, celebrities, and other individuals regarding the effectiveness of prayer. One “celebrity” even was quoted as saying that they got shot while praying, so it obviously didn’t do much good.

It is our faith that sustains us in times like these; a faith that knows that those who perished in the rural church were present with Christ the moment those bullets ended their earthly existence. To be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord. While the mainstream media will point to gun control, we know that the root of this tragedy lies in a heart that was far from God.

Prayer is a mystery to those who do not practice it. They seem to think of it as some “Genie in a bottle” activity and one that rarely shows any results. But for the believer, prayer is not about receiving gifts. It’s about communion with our Creator and a desire to lift up others into His presence, a petition for healing, for mercy, and for thanksgiving. We acknowledge through prayer that everything is a gift from God and through prayer we learn humility and reverence and respect—something so desperately needed by this world.

We have taken God out of the public arena, so it is little wonder how evil has progressed over time. And it will continue to fester because we live in a society where morality and truth has become relative and many hearts are growing up without even a hint of knowledge of God: the one true God who loves them and wants more than anything to have a relationship with them.

As believers we know we will face trials in this world because evil exists. We know we are fighting spiritual warfare every single day and that the darkness that encapsulates this earth is due to the sinful nature of people’s hearts. We also know that God is sovereign and while we cannot understand every instance of evil, we trust in Him who created everything that His purpose will be fulfilled on this earth.

We mourn with First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Our hearts are heavy for those who experienced such devastating losses. But we rejoice in that those who perished are now in the very presence of Eternal Love.