When Bad Things Happen
I want to dedicate this to my son Kaleb, because the age of the kids in this story are about his age, plus, after telling him this we had a little talk about when bad things happen.
I told you all I get all kinds of e-mails from different ministries and they help inspire me in many different areas. I got an email last Saturday that really made me think more about the things I should tell my ten year old son. The e-mail was from Commander Bill with Awana. He usually has good advice for your Awana clubs. But this week He told the story about a tragedy that happened at an Awana camp a couple of weeks ago. See below for the E-mail:
Severe storms were in the forecast. Prior to the storm arriving, a strong wind came. The campers were in an outdoor pavilion when the counselors saw the weather approaching and had the campers (7-12 year olds) begin to head to the designated enclosed shelter. The wind was so strong, that trees in the heavily wooded area began to snap and fall. Nine children were injured, two of which are in serious condition at local hospitals as I write this, and sadly, a 12 year old died from their injuries (Commander Bill newsletter, http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=895a5af543b89ce180b9230bc&id=71898403a9, 2014).
He goes on to tell that when one of the injured girls was picked up from the Hospital by her dad she ask him the question. “Why did God do this to our camp” The father was speechless at this question and was asking the same thing in his heart. This is why my son and I sat down and had a talk.
The 1st thing I explained to Kaleb, is that we live in a fallen world because of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He knows the story, and I explained that because of that sin, God cursed the earth. (Genesis 3:17-19)
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Therefore because Mankind sinned, the whole earth is cursed. This cursing is what caused the storm that killed the child. It was not God that caused the storm, but the cursed earth. If you want to take it a step further, it is Mankind’s fault for sinning that caused the death and injuries of these children.
Then the question comes up, but if God is all powerful, He could have stopped this. And you are correct, God is all powerful and He could have stopped it and we hear about miracles all the time where God does steps in, but he did not this time.
You see, God has given Mankind another gift, and other gift is free will. We have the privilege to choose what we want to do. This goes clear back to the Garden of Eden. God told Adam not to eat of the tree, God could have made it impossible to get to the tree, or He could have even stepped in before Satan talked to Eve, but he did not, He allowed it to happen. Just like the tree falling over and hurting and killing these children, God allowed it to happen because of freewill.
There is one other thing here we need to look at. That God is in control and He can take this and use it for his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
One of two things usually happens after a tragedy like this. One, people fall away from God and never want anything to do with Him, the opposite is also true, and people pull together and become stronger and closer to God. Many Christian organizations have been started out of a tragedy. This is God stepping in and picking up the pieces.
In my talk with Kaleb, I asked him to remember this and to be able to tell someone if they asked him about why bad things happen. I feel sorry for the girl and the father in the story because they did not have the answer. I hope and pray that they come across the right persons to help them and point them in the right direction.