“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
In light of the scripture verse above and the aftermath of the tornados that swept through the south on Friday night, I thought it would be encouraging to share another story of tragedy and hope told by Corrie ten Boom.
She recalls, “I once saw a church that was really no more than a ceiling – here it was canvas, there it was metal. The people told me that once they had a beautiful brick church, but they were in a community where Christianity was not allowed, and someone burned down the church. I told them that I was so sorry they had lost their building, but they smiled. ‘God does not make mistakes. Some time ago,’ they said, ‘there was an earthquake on a Sunday morning. A thousand people were under this ceiling. Had we been in a brick building, many would have been injured, but this ceiling just quaked along with the earthquake and no one was hurt.’”
God alone can see the greater impact of the good He works amidst what we consider tragedies in this life. His perspective not only takes into account all of the events that will transpire until the end of history on this earth, but His perspective also takes into account the eternal history that is yet to come.
We are left with one of two ways to look at the events which we see transpire in this world. On one hand we can chose to trust God and that He will follow through on His promises. Or, on the other, we can find fault in Him and call Him a mean and cruel liar and tyrant.
It is tough to trust that good will be the outcome of any circumstance that brings hurt in our lives or when we see others needlessly suffering. We want to end tragedy, pain, war, suffering, and loss. But, we are not called to end those things. Instead we are called to trust God through them and seek His ultimate comfort while we struggle with the pain they bring. We are called to seek God’s hand which is working in and through them. And, when we ourselves have suffered and then really know the comfort and hope only God can bring through trusting Him during a time of suffering. Then we are called to comfort others who “…with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:4, 5)