Meaning in Tragedy - What is happening to the world?
Is there meaning in tragedy? You aren’t alone when you ask the question, “What is happening to the world in which we live?” The questioning begins when you read the morning paper’s account of an earthquake halfway around the world that has taken several hundred lives. This is sad, but somehow you comfort yourself with the knowledge that this terrible tragedy can not come near you; can not touch you.
Then one morning, your local news anchor interrupts regular programming to give an eyewitness account of a local campus shooting in which many young lives have been taken, needlessly. Putting your child on the school bus becomes a frightening prospect and you wonder if your local high school is still a safe place for your son or daughter.
Or, perhaps a loved one is killed on the way home from work by a drunk driver. Now tragedy has found its way into your personal life and you find that your world is spinning out of control, leaving you helpless and frightened.
Meaning in Tragedy - If there is a God, why doesn’t God do something?
When searching for meaning in tragedy, you may ask God why. Perhaps you have some rudimentary teaching about a God who created you; a God who loves you and is supposed to care for you. If such a God exists, then why doesn’t He do something to stop the senseless tragedies from happening to those you love -- from rocking your world?
There is a God and He really does care for you. He also cares about the suffering that happens throughout the whole world. The problem is that man made a choice, a long time ago, to rebel against the One who created him and, using his freedom to choose, took control of his own life. That choice resulted in the corruption of God’s perfect creation, and the entrance of disobedience and sin into the world. With sin, came sickness, disease, and senseless tragedy.
You can read about the creation and fall of man in the early chapters of the book of Genesis, the very first book of God’s written word to man. History and God’s Word, both record that God did do something to offer an alternative to mankind. In the first four books of the Bible, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you can read about God’s plan. His plan involves redemption, saving those who make the right choice to return to Him and honor Him as God. In the meantime, God promises His grace, His comfort, and a future hope for all who will believe.
Meaning in Tragedy - Where can I turn for some sense of security?
There will continue to be violence in a world where God’s creation has chosen to rebel against His plan and authority. Tragedy may even knock at your door one day. Where can you turn for some sense of security in the midst of what seems to be so much senseless tragedy?
The answer is really pretty simple. Turn to the One who created you, turn to God who loves you and does have a plan for your life; a plan that stretches far beyond this world and into eternity. Trust in God’s plan for the grace, comfort, and hope that He can give. God never promises that those who love Him will never suffer, but He does promise that He will be there and that He will turn what looks like the ashes of life into something beautiful; something that will last for all eternity (Isaiah 61:3, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Romans 8:28). If you are seeking a tangible way to process meaning in tragedy throughout the world, we encourage you to help children in need through our friends at Compassion International.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)
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