Q: Our whole community has been shaken because of a workplace shooting that happened here a few weeks ago. No one knows exactly why it happened, because the shooter ended up killing himself. How do you explain terrible things like this? — A.J.
A: I doubt if anyone has a complete explanation for terrible events like this, even if there seem to be reasons behind some of them (such as domestic violence or employee anger). Our world has almost become like that of Noah’s day before the flood: “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence” (Genesis 6:11).
Even if we can’t fully explain them, however, incidents like this remind us of a sobering truth: The human heart is capable of incredible evil. We like to pretend otherwise; we may even convince ourselves that the more civilized or educated we become, the less likely we’ll be to fall into evil. But history teaches us otherwise. Unless our hearts and minds are restrained by God’s truth, anger and greed and jealousy and hatred easily consume us. And when they do, conflict and destruction follow in their wake.
This is why we need Christ, for only he can replace hatred with love, and anger with peace. When we come to him and yield our lives to him, he not only forgives us, but he promises to cleanse us and give us a new heart. God’s promise is true: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you” (Ezekiel 36:26).
May Christ’s peace rest on you and your community during this terrible time. And may this event, tragic as it was, cause many to turn to Christ and find in him the hope and security he promises, even in the midst of life’s worst storms.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.