Keeping the faith during times of tragedy

Posted by: ST on April 20, 2007 at 8:44 pm

It is in times of tragedy, such as the one we witnessed earlier this week at VTech, that the faith of Christians is strongly tested. Some move closer to God, while others withdraw because they don’t understand.

Usually the first questions asked when things like the 32 murders at VTech happen, or the 3,000 killed on 9-11, is “who did this and why?” The answers to those questions are much easier to find than the answer to the age-old question of “Why does God allow tragedy to happen?” The Rev. Billy Graham brought up this question in the address he made on what was called on the Occasion of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, just three days after 9-11:

But what are some of the lessons we can learn? First, we are reminded of the mystery and reality of evil. I’ve been asked hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer totally, even to my own satisfaction. I have to accept by faith that God is sovereign, and He’s a God of love and mercy and compassion in the midst of suffering. The Bible says that God is not the author of evil. It speaks of evil as a mystery. In 1st Thessalonians 2:7 it talks about the mystery of iniquity. The old testament prophet Jeremiah said “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Who can understand it?” He asked that question, ‘Who can understand it?’ And that’s one reason we each need God in our lives.

I consoled myself after 9-11 with the belief that the pain and suffering that happens in the world happens in order to bring people either to Him or closer to Him so they can walk with Him. After 9-11, churches were filled with people who had never sat in a church pew before, or hadn’t sat in one in a long time. People were looking for answers, and first and foremost, they looked to Him.

I suspect the same will happen in light of the VTech massacre. More people will fill the churches this weekend, looking for answers only God can provide. And although the answers may not completely satsify them, what will hopefully comfort them in their sorrow is knowing He is all around us, is our refuge, and in control of all things:

Psalm 46:1 …God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

In case you are unfamiliar with the band “Mercy Me”, they are a popular Christian rock band who sing one of the most beautiful Christian songs I’ve ever heard. You’ll hear it in the video below. I should note that the video itself is not one the band did (as far as I know, they never did a video for this song) but instead the song put to some of the scenes from the movie Passion of the Christ. The music, the lyrics, and the video are incredibly moving, and inspiring, and have provided a great source of comfort for me as I struggle to understand why, when God is in control, bad things happen to good people, like those who were killed senselessly on 4/16.

Lyrics to “Here With Me”
Artist: Mercy Me

I long for your embrace
Every single day
To meet you in this place
And see you face to face

Will you show me?
Reveal yourself to me
Because of your mercy
I fall down on my knees

And I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love

You’re everywhere I go
I am not alone
You call me as your own
To know you and be known

You are holy
And I fall down on my knees

I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love

I surrender to your grace
I surrender to the one who took my place

I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender

I can feel your presence here with me
Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty
Caught up in the wonder of your touch
Here in this moment I surrender to your love

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  • 8 Responses to “Keeping the faith during times of tragedy”

    Comments

    1. Chuck says:

      Thanks for this post.

    2. Drewsmom says:

      Thanks Sister. I love this group and songs of praise always lift you up even in times of great sorrow.

    3. Wow!! What a perfect song to put with this post. I also love Psalm 46, great post!!

      You know, there is something just so comforting about Jim Caviezel playing Jesus in The Passion. I don’t know what it is but every time I see clips of the movie thats what comes to mind. Mel Gibson + Jim Caviezel= perfection!!

    4. Lorica says:

      I have always loved Mercy Me. That is one of many of the beautiful songs they sing. I also love the song Spoken For, from the CD of the same name. The last song on The Spoken For CD is just a minute and a half long, called Because of This, and it is so impressive. I also love the song Crazy, because it sings of the fact that Christianity can transcend these tragic times. I love the CD Undone, which Here with Me comes from, it is so wonderful. :) I have pretty much loved everything these guys have made, it truly speaks to me, at the place I am at in this walk.

      For the last almost 20 years I have listened to Contemporary Christian Music, it just reaches into me and tells me I can be better that what I truly am. I have been pretty quiet over this latest tragedy, I just don’t know what to say, or if it would matter. I find myself remember the emptiness of 9/11, I remember the tears I cried for Columbine, but your choice in songs for this post, just grabs my heart. It is a very beautiful song. Thank you very much Dear. – Lorica

    5. Tango says:

      ….oh, merci, merci Me! (Things ain’t what they used to be!) @};-

    6. Livvie says:

      Sister Toldjah, thanks for such an inspiring post. Although we don’t always know the plan or the future, we know who holds the plan and the future-God. In His sovereign majesty ALL things are in His control. Nothing, absolutely nothing can happen without first passing through His hands and it’s comforting to know that nothing catches Him by surprise!

      Why He allows tradgedy and suffering such as this at VT, 9-11, or other tragic events, we don’t really know. But knowing He knows, He’s in control, and He has a plan brings some sense to what, to us, may seem senseless.

      Simply put, we need God but unfortunately often times it takes tradgedy to make us find Him.

      Thanks again and keep looking up!

    7. forest hunter says:

      Semper Fi y’all! @};-