Sunday, February 17, 2008

God's Response to Tragedy -- Hope Chronicles 18

There are tragedies all around. If you look at the paper or watch the news, it's right there. When I was in high school there was a song out called, "A Little Good News" by Anne Murray. It pursued the idea that one day there could be a newspaper come out that only had good news in it. Wow. What would that be like?

It's a nice thought, but it's not reality. On Thursday, there was a school shooting at Northern Illinois University. The gunman, a student at the University of Illinois, drove to Dekalb and opened fire on a geology class. He killed 4 before killing himself. MSN's home page daily announces to me various tragedies. In August it was the end to the search for the miners and a hot air balloon tragedy that killed two. Then there is also the war in Iraq. Forty-nine died in wildfires in Greece. And then there are the tragedies that I have experienced or the ones people I know have gone through. Kate had an operation because there was an infection in a bone. She has a degenerative foot and leg condition that will only get worse over time. She also has diabetes. She is healing from the surgery, but now they are telling her they think that the bone infection is still there. Another friend lost her husband of 50 years to cancer. Bill died at 41 from an aortic aneurysm. What is God's answer to all of this? Is he silent?

I don't believe He is! In fact, even though life still brings us tragedies, God has already responded. In Faith on the Edge: Daring to Follow Jesus written by several InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff, Robbie Castleman writes the following (p. 188):

God may not have intervened, may not have stepped in to undo what broke our hearts . . . . We may not understand why God intervened for Peter and not for James. Why some and not all? Why then and not now? All that disciples know is a point in history that gives us hope in tragedy, a point of divine intervention that spans all time: God raised Jesus from the dead.

God has intervened. Life is hard and we struggle, but God has already intervened. Some day we will be with him in heaven and there will be no more pain and suffering. Until then, we rest on the fact that HE HAS ANSWERED all the questions we have in the midst of tragedy and he understands suffering intimately.


As I write, I am considering making a trip to Northern Illinois University. I received an e-mail last night that stated that they are looking for 300 MA level volunteer counselors to be in classes over the next two weeks. I think I could pull off going for 2-3 full days. However, the e-mail was woefully devoid of the information I need to make those kind of plans.

Please pray that God would give me wisdom on this. I am acquainted with grief and sorrow and the sense of loss of safety. However, I don't know that I've ever experienced anything quite like this. (The closest was several years ago when I worked in Clinton, IL and 3 kids were drowned in a lake. The counselors at my agency went to the hospital that night and then had daily conversations with our clients about the event.) I have the training they are asking for. I also have 11 years experience working with college students through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

But I need more information. I also need God, the greatest of counselors, to go before me if I go.

Because we need peace in the midst of these situations, here is a picture of one of my favorite places in the world -- InterVarsity's Cedar Campus in Michigan.


Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

Hey - I found you from Lisa's blog. I just wanted yout o know that I live in Illinois and am just devasted by the recent events. I will be praying for you if you do decide to go!! Let's us know how it goes!! Leigh

Heather@Mommymonk said...

You have what they need: Jesus. No amount of training or experience can top that.

Laura said...

Praying for you friend!