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When tragedy strikes the ones we love

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Chapel ©D.P. Clarke

The helicopter lifted slowly off, then hurried towards Orlando Regional Hospital. Inside was a young man who’d just been burned in a gas explosion. Racing after him in a car was his wife, who was pregnant with their first child. Upon learning of this young couple’s tragedy, often the first question that comes to mind is, “Why?”

When bad things happen to the people we love, another question asked is “How could God let this happen?” At the time it only seems reasonable to blame Him for what has occurred. But, when tragedy strikes, coping will be easier if we understand what is really behind it. God is not the one to blame. So, what is the true source of the catastrophes which happen in the world?

A little history lesson will help us understand. In the beginning God gave the Earth into Adam’s control. When Adam fell, the Earth came under the rule of the one who had deceived him – Satan. And the Earth will remain under Satan’s rule until Lord Jesus returns. Also, one must remember that Satan is a liar who influences people to blame God for his actions. He even convinces them he doesn’t exist, and that there isn’t any evil in the world.

This enemy of our soul has one purpose, to destroy all who are created in God’s image. This fallen world we live in is plagued with many things according to its rulers design – fire, flood, earthquake, violent crime, and accidents. Satan loves destruction because these catastrophic events wreck havoc on humans. Lives are lost, property is destroyed, and dreams die.

It is often the case when bad things happen that the one who doesn’t have a relationship with their heavenly Father may seek out those who do. This is why believers must be ready to give an answer for the hope within them. A hope which centers on the fact that the world we live in, and all the tragedy associated with it, is only temporary. While our bodies and property are subject to the physical boundaries of our existence, our spirit and soul are eternal. Anchoring our earthly existence in the promise of eternal life in Jesus will help us cope with tragedies.

This is not to imply that tragic events should be taken lightly. There is real grief and anguish which will have to be dealt with. Sympathy, empathy, and gentle words of wisdom are required if one is to help guide their loved ones through to hope.

And isn’t it time for believers to stop Satan’s blame game? How? By first acknowledging his existence and then exposing his lies. This will take courage on our part. But, isn’t the God who loves us worthy of our support?

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