Monday, October 19, 2015

Keeping the faith in the tragic.

It was Sunday morning when I learned that five high school students were involved in a car crash at about 3:30am.  One young lady had lost her life.  Four young men are being treated - some of them in the ICU.

I was away with a few hundred teenagers at the time so the news was devastating to all of us.

Earlier in the weekend I met with some teens who were hurting from a different kind of tragedy.  As we talked, they unpacked a terrible ordeal they had just been through.  They wondered how God would allow something so horrible to happen.  With the news of the five in the car crash, those questions soon multiplied.  How can God allow something like this to happen?

In the moment of pain, there are no answers - just grief.

That is not to say that there is no answer - it is just that no one wants to hear the reason behind something so painful so soon.  No one wants to hear that God has enabled us to make our own decisions - and as a result - we live in a world that is dangerous and unpredictable.  Sometimes good people die.  Sometimes we are the reason for the pain - the choices we make can hurt us or others.  Sometimes other people and their choices are the reason.  Sometimes bad things happen just because.  We forget that we live in a world in which we have been separated from God by the choices we have made.

Since love is only love when there is an option to refuse it, the opening chapters of the Bible detail something very deep. God did not make robots.  God created humans with the ability to choose to love Him.  We didn't.  The rest is history.  We live in a continual loop of the effects of this decision.  Sometimes our sin.  Sometimes the sin of others.  And sometimes the nature of a sinful world red in tooth and claw hurts us.  

So I know that no one wants to hear that in the pain.  But the truth over time is the only thing that will help us cope.  It is tempting to walk away from a God that lets this happen.  But once the pain subsides, understand that the pain of our choice will one day yield to a whole new system in which death and sin will be memories.

All we have to do is keep the faith.

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