The events which took place in 2004 on the Asian coastline were beyond comprehension. 150,000 lives lost is staggering! Many ask, “Where did God figure into all this?” Here are a few thoughts to consider:
Before sin entered into the world there were no hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, etc. Genesis 1 shows that everything God created was perfect. In the garden, man had no disease, no sickness and could live forever as he ate from the tree of life. When sin entered into the world it not only ruined man’s relationship with the holy, loving God – it sent the whole creation into chaos. Tsunamis are a result of a fallen world because of the sins of mankind. Even innocent people experience the consequences of other people’s sins. God is so holy and loving that He is incapable of doing evil to harm people. And while it is true that God punishes, how would one reconcile an innocent child being swept away in the tsunami with God’s punishment.
In heaven there will be no tsunamis. Everything will be perfect – “…there will no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Revelation 21:4). Any attempt to have fairness in this life will lead to disappointment because only in heaven will we find all that God has in store for those who love Him.
The cross helps us understand God’s role. When we are tempted to think or say that God is somehow unjust, unloving, and uncaring, we think about Jesus Christ on the cross. We consider passages like John 3:16 – that God so loved the world… It is inconsistent to reason that somehow God allows disasters to occur because He doesn’t care, because when we look at the cross we see that God loves us beyond comprehension (Ephesians 3:14-21). It is important for Christians to look at life’s tragedies through the lens of the cross – it helps us to remember that God loves us.
We don’t know all the answers to the question, “Why do bad things happen to innocent people, especially children?” We know God is good – that gives us a foundation that cannot be shaken. When we get to heaven we will understand it all, but for now, we live by faith in a loving God who will set everything straight on the last day.