Where Is God When Tragedy Occurs?
Written by Jenn Arman | December 18, 2012
One of the largest anti-Christian arguments is, “If God is so ‘good,’ how come He lets such terrible things happen?” Many people have used this as an argument that God must not exist, or if He does exist, then He doesn’t care about us–He just sits up in the clouds, watching but not doing anything. Is that who God is?
We see so much tragedy every day–war, hunger, diseases, poverty; these are global issues. Then we see tragedy here at home–the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001; the shooting at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999; and, most recently, the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on December 14. Do these terrible events mean God doesn’t exist? If He does exist, does He not care what happens to us?
My mind can’t even comprehend what would allow an adult to look at the face of a child and do what this young man did in Newtown last week. I wonder, God why didn’t You take the gun out of his hand? Better still, why didn’t You fix whatever caused this young man to want to perform this horrible crime in the first place? Why didn’t God do something?
Maybe God tried to stop it. Maybe God tried to move people into the path of this young man, people who could’ve shown kindness, mercy and grace. Maybe God tried to get people to notice that something was wrong and that the young man needed help long before now. Maybe those people weren’t listening. Maybe those people were too busy with their own lives to get involved in loving someone else.
It’s easy to blame God during times of great tragedy. It’s easy to say, “God why weren’t You there?” The truth is that God was there. The truth is that the tragedy in Newtown and the tragedies before it break God’s heart. Maybe God tried to get people’s attention so this tragedy could’ve been avoided.
This is why love is such a huge part of Christianity. People need love. People need others to get involved in their lives. People need to be heard, seen, noticed and sometimes helped.
Often, God speaks to our hearts when we see someone who seems lonely, sad, angry or just odd. That still, small voice says, “Go. Talk to them, love them, they need a friend and they need Me.” Many times we walk on by thinking, “Someone else will do it, I’m too busy,” but what if no one else does?
God is with the residents of Newtown. He is with those families affected by this terrible event and they need our prayers.
Can we let the tragedy in Newtown move all of us to spend more time loving people? Let it move us to spend more time listening for God’s voice and reaching out to those who just need a touch of mercy or grace. This tragedy should move all of us to reach out beyond our small circles of friends and family into the wider world around us and show them that our God is real and He is intimately involved in the lives of His people.
Do you know anyone affected by the Newtown tragedy? We want to pray for them.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book (Psalm 56:8 NLT).
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He recuses those whose spirits are crushed (Psalm 34:18 NLT).