January 12th, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to another episode of The Thursday Blog.

Unfortunately this blog comes in very dark times. Over the last week or so the world that we live in has dealt with tragedy. In Arizona a gunman claimed the lives of 6 innocent people. This evil act came with no warning and the only crime the people who were killed committed was being in the way of the gunman. The country of America mourns, and I join them.

Then in my own country we are facing tragedy that is not yet over. In Australia there are horrific floods that have claimed 12 lives and are destroying 75% of the entire state of Queensland. A couple of days ago the floods (to everyone’s surprise) hit the the town of Toowoomba. The waters sneaked up on everyone as the town is not in a valley but fairly raised and doesn’t usually flood. The water reached over 22 metres and became what was described as “an inland tsunami”.

Now the floods are reaching the city of Brisbane, the state’s capital and the whole CBD (central business district) is closed off. I can’t imagine Sydney’s CBD ever closing, or New York City, or London. Yet our third biggest CDB in the entire country has closed. These are dark days indeed.

The floods haven’t stopped and the danger is ever-present; and I sit in my dry unit in Sydney, only a 90 minute plane ride away, struggling to grasp the concept of what my fellow countrymen are going through.

So the big question is Why? Why in the world is this happening? Why would this happen and more importantly why would God let this happen? Is this all part of some plan?

Let me try and answer that with a story that takes us to Rwanda.

I was in Rwanda with a group of young people sent over there to work with the youth during Hope Rwanda. Hope Rwanda was a program set up by Mark and Darlene Zschech to combat the 100 days of genocide that happened almost 20 years ago, with 100 days of hope. As part of our youth work we would go to many places to speak and sometimes entertain (that is where I came in). One morning I was asked to perform at an orphanage to which I excitedly said “yes”.

We arrived at a makeshift hall. I sat down the back with my juggling balls, balloons, and tricks and waited for the children. The rooms filled up but there were no children. Then a church-style service started. During the service they asked a woman to share her story of what happened to her family during the genocide. I quickly realised that this was not an orphanage but a service for the genocide victims.

The lady told her story which was translated after each sentence. She told us of what the evil men did to her family. I watched as this woman re-told the story of the pain of seeing what they did and I saw the pain had not left her. Towards the end of her story she described something that they did and the whole room began wailing and she broke down. It was some minutes before the translator told us what she said. They took her out of the room and then the next thing on their runsheet was me.

What in the world was I going to do? I had juggling balls and magic tricks to perform to children that weren’t even there. I left my bag behind, picked up my bible and walked to the front.

What could I say? These people had been through so much tragedy and they were faced with the same question as the victim’s family in Arizona face; the same question that those who have lost so much in the floods in Queensland ask…Why?

I told them that though many people will say that God had a plan to use the tragedy and that that is why it happened; that they shouldn’t listen to those people. God will use tragedy to bring forth life but He doesn’t plan it. God didn’t want the genocide to happen, nor the shootings, or the floods. In fact God never wanted death to happen as it wasn’t a part of His plan with Adam.

No one can say why bad things happen or why God does not or cannot stop them. These questions are way beyond our capability of understanding. But you have to know and believe this. God doesn’t plan tragedy – instead He weeps with those who weep, and mourns with those who mourn.

Keep Safe


This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 9:26 pm and is filed under The Main Event!!!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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