How do you deal with tragedy?
You might initially ask: How could a loving God let bad things happen? Will God come through in helping the victims? Can I continue to trust in Him?
A Christian response involves both the head and the heart. In our minds, we know that we have a God who IS love. He loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us on the cross so that we might spend eternity with Him. We know that he understands our pain because He stepped into it willingly. He took all our pain and suffering upon Himself. We know this because our Bible tells us so. We also acknowledge that all that is not good about this world is not because of Him but ultimately because of human choices – the decision to do evil or good.
A heart response goes beyond the rational and the facts, despite how true they may be. A heart response involves emotions and the spiritual. A heart response helps us realise that life is something more than what we face; there is a mystery that we can’t quite fathom, can’t place in a box – some things are simply beyond the scope of human understanding.
Our head knowledge of God helps us define the parameters of our relationship with Him, and our heart emotions help us trust in the unfathomable even when we don’t, and can’t, have all the answers. The head and the heart come together in faith, and it is faith that invites us to deepen our trust in God when we encounter trouble.
The Christian response to suffering is to hang in there and keep believing that goodness can eventually come from our pain and that God’s grace is given to us when we suffer and grieve.
Revelation 21:4 – He (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
I was motivated to post this today by the devastating news of yet another mass shooting in the U.S.
I don’t expect my post to answer all the questions of why or go towards alleviating any of the pain and grief that so many are feeling. My desire is for it to simply be a reminder that God is with us and He grieves with us and, as with any loving father, His arms are open wide ready give to comfort and hold us tight.