I’m heartbroken by the shooting in Tucson, Arizona. How do we process tragedies like this? Where was God when six innocent people met their eternal destinies at the hand of a lunatic? When faced with tragedy our view of God will either turn us away from Him or motivate us to seek comfort in His arms.
If we try to “make sense of it” we’ll go crazy. If you have kids they may be asking some hard questions about this incident. How can we help our kids when we can’t answer it for ourselves?
One thing that has helped our family wrestle through challenging times is to focus on all the attributes of God rather than just one or too. When we filter a tragedy through only one or two of God’s attributes it often results in anger, doubt and disillusionment. All of God’s character comes into play at all times.
Two of the attributes that get a lot of criticism in times of tragedy are His Sovereignty and His Love. Here are some thoughts about those two attributes we’ve found helpful:
God is Sovereign: He is in total control all the time, but He didn’t make us robots. God gives us the freedom to make choices for good or ill. Some people make very bad choices that impact good people. The flip side is also true: some people make very good choices and others benefit from them. God was not out of control when the bullets were fired in Tucson. His perfect plan will be accomplished and no man can stop that. (Romans 8:28—And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.) So what is God’s will? To know God’s Love…
God is Love: We often think that God’s love means He wants us to be happy, successful and healthy. God showed us that His love is so much more. He wants the very best for us and He was willing to die for it.
What is His “best”? There’s nothing better than being in relationship with Him, now and forever. Heaven is the ultimate fulfillment of His best. It’s not just about streets of gold and mansions designed specifically for their inhabitants. Heaven is about freedom. No more sin, no more tears, no more hunger, cancer or fears. Heaven is about experiencing the love of the One who created us and treasures us. When a follower of Jesus dies, those who are left behind grieve their loss. God’s love and presence will be their comfort. The one who dies is welcomed into Heaven and knows love in a way we cannot imagine.
Volumes have been written about these issues. I encourage you to check out Discover God for help in knowing God more deeply. Discover God 4Kids Family Adventures is a great resource to help you equip your kids with a view of God that will carry them through the tragedies of life.
How about you? Has the Tucson tragedy affected your view of God? Have your kids been affected by it?