(This is a repost of blog I wrote in June 2005.)Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. . . You are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29,31 HCSB Randomness or Design. I ask myself this question when I hear of tragedy. Let me ask the question in another way, “Are tragedies the unfortunate accidents of living in a sinful, fallen world with no purpose or meaning that take, in some way or another, even God off guard or is it possible that a loving God permits or even wills in His incomprehensible wisdom tragedies while working in them for His ultimate purpose which is His glory and our good?”. Let’s look at few test cases:
Test case #1 – Joseph was thrown into a pit and then sold into slavery by his brothers. (Who needs enemies when you have brothers’ like this?) He was then sold to Potiphar becoming a faithful servant until he was falsely accused by his master’s wife. Thrown into prison, he was promised freedom. That freedom did not come for many years. What a tragedy and waste of the prime of Joseph’s life. Still, God had not taken His watchful eye off of Joseph. When the time came, God raised up Joseph to be the vice-president (to use modern language) of Egypt. Through his position, Joseph rescued his family and God’s people. Joseph could say, “What you have planned for evil, God has planned (designed?) for good!” Test case #2 – Job. He was a righteous man, blessed by God. Satan desired to strip Job of everything, most of all his faith. Still, every evil plot of Satan was combated by this command of God, “You, Satan, may only go this far!” God allowed Satan to go further than Job wanted or any of us would want for that matter. Still, God had not taken his watchful eye off of Job. Test case #3 – Jesus. The murder of Jesus on the cross is the most horrendous act of violence the world has every known for it was committed against the infinitely innocent and holy Son of God. Still, listen to the words of Peter. “Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge (design?), you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him.” Acts 2:23 The death of Jesus was the most tragic of all events yet in it God accomplished our greatest good and His greatest glory! God in His grace permits us to look through His word at these Biblical tragedies with a perspective that we do not have normally. In other words, we are not normally able to see exactly what personal good and God-glory will come from our tragedies. Still, God’s word gives us lenses of truth to view all of life. We know by the authority of God’s word that God always works for His glory and the good of His people. God is not taken off guard nor are the sufferings of His people wasted.I believe this to be a rock sold truth upon which we may build our lives. Jesus is very clear in Matthew 10:29, that not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the watchful eye of our heavenly Father. This week my heart was broke with devastating news. A friend’s six-month old daughter died after he accidentally left her in his truck thinking he had already taken her to daycare. I do not have the capacity to see meaning in this tragedy. But I am thankful that I have lenses to know that God was not taken off guard and that He never took His eyes off little Mika. God is not so limited in power that His plans for her could be thwarted by a earthly father’s (who loved her more than he loved himself) accident. How do I know God’s plans were not thwarted? Because God did not create Mika for 6 months or 50 years or even 100 years. He created her for an eternity with Him and that is where she is. Before beginning eternity with Himself, God gave Mika as a gift to her parents to love and cherish for six months. And never was Mika, who is worth more than many sparrows, separated from the eyes and care of God.