I was talking with someone the other day and the person said, “I’m sure you do, but do you think everything happens for a reason?” I said that I believe God has the ability to prevent anything, but because of free will, sometimes things happen that He wouldn’t choose. And while He could certainly prevent anything from happening, He instead allows things to happen. And then even as many of those human choices bring about terrible consequences, God can bring something good out of them.
I saw a clip from Charles Krauthammer, who often appears on Fox News, talking about the shooting in Oregon. He said that we often choose between liberty and security. We often choose between freedom and safety. And the history of our country shows that we, as Americans, nearly always lean toward freedom even though we know that having freedom makes us vulnerable. And some people want more freedom and some want less. Some believe restricting guns will make us safer and others believe allowing responsible people in schools and other “gun free zones” to carry guns will make us safer, as people will quit attacking vulnerable places.
I believe this all ties together to help me understand how things like the shooting in Oregon can happen. When God made mankind, He did not make robots who had no choice but to obey and worship Him. He made us with a mind and a conscience and allowed us the freedom to choose Him or to not choose Him. We are free to serve Him or not serve Him. We are free to curse His Name or to honor His Name. We have free will.
And as we learn over and over, there is a cost to freedom. There’s a cost as citizens of the greatest and freest country there’s ever been. There’s also a cost that will be paid one day by the people who choose not to follow Jesus.
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life… Deuteronomy 30:19
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. ~ Joshua 24:15