In light of the tragedy in Manchester, many are grieving the loss of a family member, friend, or even just the innocence the world seemed to possess before something shifted. Countless acts of terrorism from around the world have ripped families apart, destroying the lives they once knew. And Why? Some blame it on the one they seemingly don’t believe in: Our creator God, Yahweh.
When tragedy strikes and things go wrong, it is so easy to point a finger to the one who you’ve heard controls the universe and yell out “You!” It’s the number 1 argument an atheist has against belief: the blame they instill on the creator for letting someone so innocent die, or simply letting bad things happen. But how can you blame someone you don’t believe in for anything? How can you be so angry at someone you claim to be a “figment of the imagination”? And lastly, how does blaming God for something like this make you feel better? Answer, it doesn’t.
There is a reason people with faith in the Lord will die for him at the hands of a gunman threatening their life if they claim to believe. Jim Elliot, a man killed for his determination to bring the knowledge of God to a tribe of people who hadn’t heard of the Lord put it this way: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” Meaning, death will take us all someday, there’s no running from it. But if word gets out that you put your life on the line for your creator, chances are, someone will hear that, and want to learn why. They’ll witness the gospel they never would have known without that push to see God for themselves, and they will either accept or deny it, but at least they studied it. As for Jim Elliot’s death, it moved mountains. His family came to know and love the tribe that caught him at the end of their spears. And even more amazing, the tribe came to know and love the Lord, and all for what? A life that was seemingly taken to soon, brought with death, a hope for many.
God is not to blame for the tragedies we face, there are so many other hands at play in this world. With sin, comes pain. With sin, comes sorrow. With sin, comes tragedies such as these attacks we are facing in the world today. God doesn’t work to ensure these tragedies, or make them happen. He works to make sure these tragedies lead to something worth dying for… for someone somewhere to pick up a bible, study it, pray about it, live with that newfound understanding and embrace the God who brings light back from the darkness. And all because he can make even the worst things in the world work for good for those who love Him. (ROMANS 8:28-look it up)
What do all these people who bring pain to millions have in common? Well, have you ever witnessed them possessing happiness, or even a sense of purpose for their life? My guess is no. People commit murder for the LACK of happiness and meaning in their life, not the abundance of it. And the opposite of happiness is sorrow, sorrow brought forth, in part, by hate. Hatred of those who seemingly have something they don’t possess in their life. Hatred of the fact that they don’t know how to obtain something so wonderful. And the opposite of hatred, is love. And do you know what God is? That’s right: Love.
Exodus 34:6&7 show God as the epitome of love: slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love and forgiving wickedness. But it also shows God to be just- another part of love that people don’t like to attribute to its definition- He forgives, but doesn’t leave the guilty unpunished. And if God was unjust and unfair, creating misery on earth like atheists like to believe, than wouldn’t that be a contradiction of His character? Of His being? Of everything He stands for? But God is just, just NOT in our timing and manner. Many see the guilty go free after too short a time, only to go out and create chaos again. They yell out “WHY?” Why would a just God let these guilty people go free, and not bring justice to the ones who died? But what we don’t understand is the timing God has, to bring that justice we’ve been hoping for. He works at His own pace, but it is written more than once, He will not leave the guilty unpunished. There will be a right time.
Many attribute God’s timing for His lack of love, but just because we have not witnessed his justice, doesn’t mean He won’t bring it forth. God knows the right way and time to establish His power, better than any human ever could. There’s tragedies in life that break people, there’s words and actions that can affect merely one. But God brings light back to life at His own rate. He is Love, and without Him, there would be none. I am speaking to anyone who will listen, myself included: patience. Have patience that God’s love will be displayed for you to witness, without a doubt. Have knowledge that He knows better than you. Have faith that there is hope in Him.