Why does God Allow Tragedy?

IMG_4629

This week as Americans reflect on what happened 16 years ago during 9 /11, we also face the current challenges of fires in the west and hurricanes in the east. Many questions are floating around social media asking, “If God is God, then why doesn’t he prevent such difficulties and loss?

Such a complex question is not easily answered. In fact, as I read the book of Job in the Bible, it is clear that we cannot understand all of the ways of God. We may not know all the answers to why God allows tragedy, but we can know some of the answers as to who  God is and how He works in our lives. We can learn about His attributes as we look to the Bible for guidance, wisdom, comfort and strength.*

One thing I do know, the Bible doesn’t promise us a storm-free life. If God allowed the tragedy of His own Son dying on the cross for the purpose of redeeming His people, then there are reasons beyond our understanding as to why He allows pain and suffering through hurricanes, fires and attacks.

Even as we mourn what happened in 9-11, we see that God brought good out of loss. We know that through our sadness, He strengthened our character and our unity as a nation. We were humbled, yet we grew in courage and perseverance. Now, through our current tragedies, we have the opportunity to grow in compassion and unity as we love and serve one another.

Instead of asking why, let’s turn our question to how. How can we serve and help? How can we pray and give? How can we grow through the challenges we face?  May each of us turn our hearts and minds upward at this time, seeking hope, direction and strength from Him.

 

*This week, on my facebook author page, I plan to examine some of the attributes of God from A.W. Tozer’s book The Knowledge of the Holy.  Be sure to follow us, so you won’t miss out.

You Prayed and Prayed…

frank-mckenna-117065 (1) 

You prayed and prayed, and no clear answer came. Or worse, you prayed fervently, passionately, ceaselessly . . . only to have the situation turn out exactly the opposite of what you asked. You thought God loved you and would take care of you, but your life fell apart.

When disappointments like these come into our lives, we find ourselves asking, “Where is God?” Maybe you have shaken your fist at God in anger or given up on Him completely. Perhaps you just decided to slowly distance yourself in your relationship with Him, because you haven’t seen Him show up. Disappointment with God comes in many different forms. Whether we understand why God allowed something or not, one thing we can know is that He will not leave us in the midst of our struggle, for Scripture tells us, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Personally, I have found great encouragement from reading the words of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, who is known as the “weeping prophet.” Can you believe that? Encouragement from the weeping prophet! But I think you will be encouraged too. As Jeremiah grieved over the destruction of Jerusalem, he turned his eyes toward the day-to-day faithfulness of the Lord. Notice how Jeremiah’s discouragement turns into words of hope:

“The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.

I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.

Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.

Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”

The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.

So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.”

Will you dare to hope as Jeremiah did? As he grieved his loss, he also declared, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends!” Yes, His mercy is new and fresh each morning. My friend, as you walk this new and different road, grieve the pain as you seek His comfort. Cry out to him for help, and trust his faithfulness to get you through one day at a time. The Bible reminds us, “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”

This week, let us reflect on His loving presence and the strength that He gives in the midst of our not-so-perfect circumstances. Let’s also look for ways that we can show His loving care to others. See the blog below to find ways to volunteer and give to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

A portion of this blog is from Karol’s book, Thrive, Don’t Simply Survive

Texans Helping Texans

hurricane 2

Many of our fellow Texans have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Here are a few ways you can help.  If you live in the Dallas area, Trusted World is accepting donations for the evacuees. They work in coordination with the Red Cross and FEMA.

Current Needs:
 
New underwear and socks (all sizes)
Non-Perishable food
Toiletries
Feminine hygiene products
Baby diapers, wipes and formula
 
Donation Drop Off:
 
15660 Dallas Parkway, Dallas TX
 
Directions
 
Donation Hours:
 
Tuesday through Friday 9 am to 7 pm
 
Volunteer hours:
 
10 am to 8 pm. You can sign up for a 2-hour shift. If the sign-ups are full, go ahead and come when you can!

trusted world

Also, Goodwill is accepting donations, when you drop them off, say they are for Harvey victims

You can also donate funds to organizations who are on the front lines. Two disaster relief organizations that I believe are very effective are Samaritans Purse and Texas Baptist Men. Please click on the links to find out what you can do.