Quite too often, we find ourselves asking “Why” when we believe that God has failed us. The situation can be any one of a thousand different scenarios, but due to the tragedy and pain that we feel, we find that we simply cannot understand how a loving and just God can allow such travesties happen. Consider the thoughts that went through the minds of the families and friends of those senselessly murdered at places like the theater in Aurora Colorado, Sandy Hook Elementary, or more recently Charleston South Carolina; many of these survivors, those left behind, must have contemplated this question: “How could you let this happen God?”
Of course we also have to consider the
plight of those who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers, cancer, and even acts of war or terrorism; surely they must have thought the same thing.
When asked about this I usually refer to John 9:1-4
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.
Of course what Christ was saying to his disciples, this man served the greater purpose of being blind from birth so that he could be in the right place at the right time so that by Jesus’ healing touch it would become apparent to the masses that he, Christ, was indeed the son of God. You might ask how does this apply to the events of the modern day? Consider this, could the lives taken by senseless acts be a sign to us that we need to do more to prevent such acts. Some would argue that gun control might prevent such, but true psychopaths will find other ways to carry their insanity to extreme measures without guns. Perhaps we need to do more to identify psychopaths or even cases of extreme anti-social narcissistic behavior and get these people the help that they need.
Each day we hear the heart breaking story of an incredibly young innocent life lost to cancer or other fatal ailments; have we truly done enough to find a cure or prevention for those ailments that are still taking lives? Keep in mind that some which were previously fatal diseases or conditions have been all but eliminated; mayoclinic.org reports that the last case of Polio was in 1979. Consider the monumental effort to find a vaccine for Polio, or for that matter consider the monumental effort to defeat the Axis powers in World War II when America built a world class army and navy in just a few short years. What if we put the same effort into finding a cure for cancer?
So perhaps these senseless tragedies are a type of wakeup call from God, stop the madness of allowing psychopaths to destroy our lives, find a way to end driving under the influence of mind altering chemicals, reevaluate our priorities and find a way to fund cancer research that rivals the research project that culminated with Americans walking on the Moon.
Read John 9:1-4 once again and spend a few minutes contemplating on these possibilities. Remember that in many cases, it is not an act of God that takes our loved ones from us but rather a result of the choices we have made as individuals as well as a greater society.