Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When God Sends Tragedy by Martin Wiles

Franklin Roosevelt said of December 7, 1941, that it was “a date which will live in infamy.” 

September 11, 2001, is also a day that will forever be etched in the annals of American history. On this day, 19 al-Qaeda militants hijacked four airliners and instigated terrorist attacks on American soil. Two planes plowed into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, one dove into the Pentagon, and a fourth lunged into a Pennsylvania field. Over 3,000 people died.

America changed in radical ways following these attacks, but positive images emerged also. Americans re-discovered their sense of unity and for a brief moment returned to their Creator for comfort and help.

God called Jonah to a task he didn’t like, so he bebopped in the opposite direction. It took God sending a large fish tragedy—and Jonah spending a few days in its belly, to get him re-oriented. Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17 NLT).

Tragedies—personal and otherwise, have a way of re-focusing my attention as they did Jonah’s. I’m easily distracted by life’s attractions and often find myself making major and minor decisions without a thought of where they fit into God’s plan.

As long as tragedies don’t conflict with God’s nature or have sinful traits, he can send them. He even seizes Satan’s tragedies and evokes good from them. And he does it every day. When couples adopt unwanted children. When counselors help re-mold lives broken by abuse and drugs. When chaplains help soothe the mental torments of war ravaged minds. When someone walks behind barred doors to visit a prisoner.

When tragedy slips through your door, ask God to help you redeem it not detest it.

Prayer: Merciful Father, when tragedies strike, enable us to trust You for guidance and beneficial results.

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