When Tragedy Strikes

In January 2010, people from around the world were deployed to provide relief to the citizens and land of Haiti. The tragic effects of a powerful earthquake in that country caused our family to wrestle with unsettling and troubling questions: Why did a mind-staggering tragedy like this happen? If God is strong and powerful and loving, couldn't He have prevented the devastation in Haiti? Is God punishing the people of Haiti in some way? Are the people in Haiti more unrighteous than people in other countries? These questions are legitimate, but they inch us away from an appropriate personal response to world tragedy.

Jesus addressed the manner in which His audience should personally respond to world crises (Luke 13). To do this, He chronicled two historical events, revealing that death is indiscriminate and repentance is vital. In the first event, Pilate had some Galileans killed while they worshiped. The innocents died at the hands of an evil man (vv.1-2). The second event concerned a tower in Siloam that fell and killed 18 people. Those people died in a natural disaster (v.4). In light of these two tragic events, Jesus wanted His audience to ask a question of mortality: How close am I to the end of my life? And a question of eternity: What's my status before God, am I ready to meet Him? Jesus' instruction was sobering, mortality and eternity are certain, so the people needed to repent or perish spiritually. .

In light of tragedies taking place around the world, we should take His teaching to heart. World tragedies should cause us to consider our own mortality and eternity, asking: What is my status before God right now? Am I ready to meet God? How am I glorifying Him today? To neglect these questions could prove tragic for me and you. , Marvin Williams.

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