After a major tragedy has occurred, the first question that comes to mind is: Why?
It could take way too many words to answer this question or it could be answered simply: We live in a world stained by sin, and as such, our perfect life will be in heaven, not here. But if you’ve never asked why our world is infected with pain and suffering, you will when they strike you with full force or they come to a loved one. And Jesus said they are coming. Unlike some other religious leaders who wrote off pain and suffering as just being illusions, Jesus was honest. He told us the truth. He said in John 16:33, “You will have suffering in this world.” He didn’t say you might – he said it is going to happen.
God isn’t caught by surprise or unaware when tragedy strikes. And tragedy is not unique within our borders. The 60 seconds it’s taking you to read this, tragedy has unfolded somewhere on this earth. Women and children have been caught in the crossfire of war. US Military members are in harms-way each day on foreign soil and some give the ultimate sacrifice. Civil war rages in Syria as the world looks for solutions, while hundreds are killed daily. Law enforcement officer’s lives are lost as they faithfully serve their communities. A loved one has received a cancer diagnosis, died, or has been in an accident. Christians are imprisoned worldwide, some under death sentences. According to Christianity.about.com, “an average of 159,960 Christians worldwide are martyred for their faith per year.”
So where is faith in the midst of tragedy?
Claiming faith is easy when life goes well. When tragedy strikes, whether in our personal lives or on a national scale, it’s much more difficult to trust God’s plan. Faith alone will not provide you with all the answers—nor was it designed to.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)
But faith is the solid foundation on which you build your Christian life. Without it, you don’t fully appreciate the blessings, nor stand firm in adversity. Is there hope after devastation? Being able to depend on God’s love and comfort in the face of tragedy is reassuring.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2
Maybe discovering the why of the unexpected is not important—rather what am I going to do with the experience? What does my life represent in tragedy’s aftermath? I believe part of the answer is to look beyond ourselves and our country’s shores and look at the world through God’s eyes and with His love. As we go to the Lord in prayer, please remember these folks who have been affected by these recent tragedies. I’m reminded of a song by Brandon Health, “Give Me Your Eyes”.
I pray we all strive to see the world through our Savior’s eyes.