I’m sure many of you have been struggling and grieving over the loss of innocent life and the unthinkable tragedy that has occurred on Virginia Tech’s campus. I am still in the process of trying to understand how a person (gunman) can reach the depths of despair and evil or whatever led him to commit such violence. My heart goes out to the community of college students and faculty as well as to the families who lost loved ones.
Why do babies die just moments after entering the world?
Why are their diseases with no cure?
Why did on April 19, 1995…168 “good” people die in the Oklahoma City Bombing – Murrah Federal Building?
Or Why on April 21, 1999 at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado did 12 students, 1 teacher, 2 shooters die and 28 people were left wounded… worst school shooting in history.
Perhaps the most tragic event of your lifetime… September 11, 2001… Why did nearly 3,000 people die at the hands of terrorists?
And most recently, why would 33 college students lose their lives at the hands of a troubled college student at Virginia Tech University on April 16, 2007?
Anytime something tragic occurs that we can’t fit into a box or understand, the question of “Why would God allow evil?” or “Why do bad things happen to good people?” arises. I’ve heard that question asked over and over again during my time in student ministry.
I really believe that asking the “why” question is really the wrong question. It will not change what happened and it will not take away the pain. Blaming God is not the answer because it lets the real problem off the hook. The problem of evil and the influence of Satan on the world.
The main reason that bad things happen to good people is the fact that we live in a fallen world. Sin is the reason. We are living in a war zone and we get caught in the crossfire. All the people who died at the hands of the terrorists died because those men were committing sin. They decided that they were going to act in an evil manner and those people got caught in the crossfire that resulted. Behind the question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?” stands the holiness of God and his perfect righteousness. Our understanding of God is grounded in the teaching of Scripture that he is the just Judge. The Judge of all of the earth always does right.
Here are some great questions to ask: Do I know God? Have I accepted His love and forgiveness of my sin? Have I found a purpose and meaning in life? Can I live knowing that God is in control even in a fallen, sinful world?
Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” You need to know that you never cry alone, God is with you all the time, and He is reaching out to you. God never promised a life without pain and suffering, but He promised us that He would be there for us!