Christianity, Faith: Who Controls Tragedy?

By Nneka Okumazie

What is the chance that the tragedy that will not miss would befall someone, or anyone? Who could have done something, or linked to something that – maybe – got caught up with, but affecting others unknowingly?

What is the slight chance, some often have, missing the worst? What is it with suddenness and unpredictability, in the many terrible events of life? Why does it seem that tragedy does not make exemptions – say for people called good people? Is there a decision-making process for what tragedy, or for whom?

There are lots of questions to ask in the aftermath of a tragedy. It is sometimes a time to reflect on life – with several known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

It is almost impossible to be unbroken after a tragedy – connected to a loved one, or to something, or someone really important to one or more.

The extreme sadness, heartbreak and grief could linger forever, but the aftermath is sometimes impossible to bear.

Some often use tragedy to question the power of God. Some also use it to question the love of God, or the existence of God.

[John 3:8, The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.]

Christ talks about being born of the spirit, with an example that if He had answered could have made Him a scientist.

But no, Christ came to the world, as saviour, lived perfectly, doing good and healing those oppressed of the devil.

Science later, to an extent, explained the source of the wind – the sun, which heats up some parts of the earth, creating low pressure areas, where air moves to.

The love of God, the mercy of God and the judgment of God are not measured by any human standard.

[Matthew 5:45, That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.]

People say God is patient with bad people. But God is patient on all. All have sinned, though some are madly evil and wicked, but that same love of God, some questioned or rejected, applies no matter what seems to be the level of transgression.

Christ knew a lot about tragedy. He had compassion on a widow who lost her son. He often talked about putting hopes on Him, following Him and casting cares on Him.

He could save anyone, anytime, anywhere, but the deal of salvation is that if He did or didn’t seem to, faith in Him should not be given up for anything else.

[Psalm 115:16, The heaven, [even] the heavens, [are] the LORD’S: but the earth hath He given to the children of men.]

Yes, God owns everything, but gave control of the earth to humanity. Just as the decision for salvation is up to anyone to believe or accept, or continue in it.

[Isaiah 60:2, For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.]

Like evil, wickedness, bitterness, hate, deception, etc. can be darkness, tragedy too can be darkness.

There can be the other side of tragedy, for those looking and for the – be – fallen. Yes, for them, it could seem to others that things went blank, but it just can’t be blank.

Tragedy is one thing that evokes the thought that there just has to be an afterlife, where everything on this side is evaluated, where questions are answered and where understanding is perfected.

There are too many things unknown. There are feelings, luck – good or bad, failures, success, sadness, coincidence, sabotage, hate, etc. that just seemed to happen, without any effort, control, or link.

There just has to be the time, to understand what kind of life this was and why things happened.

[Matthew 13:43, Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.]

Christ prayed always and advised His people to do the same. There are some who think prayer is the binary of give me this or I quit, but prayer could play roles that include communication with God, closeness to God, a warning system, a say in the out of control, strength that cannot be explained, etc.

It is not just sin that tries to stop devout Christians from praying, it can be lack of faith, sabotage, activities, etc.

But the emphasis on prayers in the scriptures makes it the right thing for life. Salvation, however, is the right thing for eternal life. Christ often talked about righteousness, goodness, faith, etc. because they are the right thing to do.

But life deals with people so much it sometimes seems counterintuitive to do the right thing. Some people would try to discredit Christianity using science, but science itself has several unsatisfactory explanations.

Among scientists, there is a lot of envy, strife, unknown intentions, deceit, hate, wrath, etc. mind and behavioural problems salvation easily solves, but no way, with science, on those.

[Matthew 22:21, They say unto Him, Caesar’s. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.]

The things of God are different. Anything else can align with anything else, but the Lord He is the God.

[1 Kings 18:39, And when all the people saw [it], they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, He [is] the God; the Lord, He [is] the God.]

It is easy for many to question stories in the scriptures and the power of God, but no science, or wind vane says the ultimate destination or origin of the wind – which could be an angle of the description of Christ, not the immediate destination or origin.

So for some who think science answers all, there are questions and aftereffects of many things of science on nature with no way out – just yet, but many see science as supreme.

No one can say where tragedy – ultimately – comes from, even if investigations explains and closes. Sometimes, it is the heart for wickedness, evil, bitterness, sabotage, hate, negligence, or stupidity, hubris, deceit, strife, envy, etc.

But then, where do those thoughts and callousness to carry them out come from? Why are morals or change of heart often suspended in the process?

There is much more to life beyond the things everyone sees, hears, assumes, or acts. Sometimes, humanity just does not know.

[Acts 20:9, And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.]

[Matthew 8:24, And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep.]

[2 Corinthians 11:26, [In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren]

[Acts 20:12, And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.]

[Matthew 8:26, And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.]

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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