Acts of God or Accident?
“Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”
As we acknowledge the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 “Twin Towers” attacks in New York City, I thought it might be appropriate to revisit this critical question so often asked when trying to ‘justify,’ make sense of, or understand the untimely loss of a loved one.
There is a lesson for each of us in the terrorism of our world. It is not however a lesson in conflict. It is not a lesson in economics. It is not a lesson in politics or religion. It is a lesson in none of these.
God’s activity or inactivity in our lives is of His choosing and His timetable. Suffice it to say, all events we experience up close and personal or from afar can be tests of our faith and beliefs. Events and consequences of the choices we make or experience can come in three forms:
1) According to God’s plan for our lives.
2) By accident.
3) By actions perpetrated by forces of the world, or forces of evil in our world.
This answer may or may not be an adequate explanation around the water cooler or in the classroom, but what about for everyday real life? “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Christian believers say that they trust in the words of Jesus Christ. So, let’s look at what He has to say. Jesus explains for His listeners, “No one is good, no not one, except God alone.”
Jesus is telling us something very important about people who perish throughout the world under all kinds of different circumstances regardless of the particular day or event. He is also telling us something very important about ourselves. Not one of the people who has perished in the turmoil and tragedies of our day, whether in New York City, Iraq, Timbuktu or elsewhere are good, “No, not one.” Each of them had complex lives, just like you and I. We know nothing of their individual situations or how they acted or behaved in their lives behind closed doors. What we do know is that those lives cut short by events unforeseen can serve as a reminder to be heeded.
The only one who knows when your last day and hour will be is God. When He is ready for you, will you be ready? Were the people who perished on Sept. 11, 2001 ready? Were any of them ready? We have no way of knowing. The single blessing for those who might have realized their deaths were imminent was they had an opportunity to make their peace with their God.
This is a lesson for us as survivors. It is not one of economics, religion, politics or terror. It is a lesson of personal choice and personal action. It is a lesson which is twofold: First, “None of us is good, No, not one.” And second, only God Himself knows the last day and hour. The world’s and each of ours. When He is ready, will you be? Make your peace with God and you’ll be blessed here and hereafter.
In the Hawaiian language, "Mana'o" (ma na o) is the word used to describe 'thoughts, ideas, and opinions'.
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