Tragedy and Substance
People naturally try to find meaning in the outcome of tragic events. Because finding meaning eases the pain of the tragedy. Absence or loss of meaning makes the pain unbearable. So we naturally go through inner turmoil when tragedy strikes or when life is unjust.
Sometimes God seems way too quiet when we call out to him. Sometimes he seems absent. What do you do when God seems not to hear?
It may help to know that natural disasters often result from the earth’s natural functioning: Earthquakes are necessary adjustments in the shifting of tectonic plates. Hurricanes are necessary atmospheric pressure release valves. And who knows, maybe we’re in the end times. On a personal level, our bodies get sick and at some point die. And behind human evil we can see shadows of the demonic.
Knowing that can help the mind but not the agony of the soul. Because when tragedies or disasters happen, explanations like that feel awfully clinical. Even when we understand why, tragedies and disasters still hurt.
That’s where we go beyond the unanswered Why or How-does-God-allow-this? That place is defined by faith and who we are, what we’re made of. When things are happy, it’s easy to believe. That kind of faith is bargain basement, 50-percent-off-sale kind of faith. When things are hard, when disaster strikes, when we’re unjustly attacked—that’s when our true substance is revealed.
That’s also a critical point where God works in us beyond our own substance to form us more into his image. He builds us into what he is made of. Faith on that level holds strong whether things are good or not, whether we feel like it or not. That kind of faith is high-end costly kind of faith.
Whether we’re there or still getting there, we choose to go forward. And as we go forward, we trust by conviction, not by what we feel. We rise above the tragedy. And that is precisely the kind of faith God is looking for and ready to bless.
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