Tragic Events Revisited

Every so often there are days when everything on our busy personal schedules suddenly seems irrelevant.  I spent this morning doing computer work, packing orders and scurrying around town — heavily focused on my pressing to-do list.  But when the tragic news from Newtown, CT, hit the airwaves, my “list” was quickly revised to thoughts and prayers for the families whose lives had been changed forever in a matter of seconds.

As a parent and husband, I can’t begin to relate to the pain of losing a child or spouse in the manner of those who lost loved ones today.  And with two kids in school and a wife who teaches 6th grade, today’s events leave me feeling vulnerable and uncertain.  As a son, I can relate in some ways to the shocked and grieving families because I lost my father, instantly, in a seemingly senseless tragedy earlier this year.

Why events like this happen is a question no one on earth will ever be able to answer.  As Christians, we’ll surely face the predictable backlash from unbelievers who almost revel in these moments by offering comments such as, “If your God is so loving and so powerful, how can He allow terrible things like this to happen to good and innocent people?”

These are tough questions, for sure, and quite often we’re not prepared to answer them.  In fact, as believers, we may find ourselves asking the same thing.  But before we get carried away with thoughts that God has lost control, let’s remember that this same God allowed the evil plans of man to take the life of His own Son.  And through that tragic event, sin was defeated, and believers can look forward to eternal life in Heaven.  God surely works in ways we can’t comprehend.

Eleven years ago, after the unthinkable took place on 9/11, my Dad wrote a devotional entitled “Tragic Events.”  I thought perhaps the teaching in this essay may be helpful to some at this time.

– Ron Reid