Where is God in the Tragedy?

Why, Lord? I lifted that question to the heavens when I heard the breaking news. Why, God, did You allow two young OSU basketball coaches to perish in a plane crash?

Coach Budke … remembered as a family man and father-figure, a motivator who turned losers into winners. His assistant Miranda Serna … described as a role model and up-and-coming coach. Both “incredible life forces,”* now lost to present and future women’s basketball players who would have blossomed under their influence. Why, Lord?

Why do You allow life to strip away family, friends, or heroes at the height of their potential to teach and inspire? Why, when we can’t imagine life without them and our legs wobble as we try to stand alone? How do we go forward in the face of such setback?

Perhaps the subjects of king Uzziah asked the same question when their beloved leader died. King Uzziah came to the throne at age 16 and reigned in Judah for 52 years. Unlike his father, he was a wise and pious king who transformed the nation from loser to winner. Then, leprosy felled him and he died. Why was one who accomplished so much for the country taken from them when he could do more good? Why, Lord?

Isaiah served in Uzziah’s royal palace in Jerusalem. When Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord, high and exalted upon His throne. In that moment of brokenness, Isaiah saw and surrendered to the everlasting King he would serve for the rest of his life.

With God’s help, family, friends and heroes arm us with certain lessons and challenge us to grow. When they leave, sorrow and fear grip us, for sure. But, the Holy Spirit reminds us…God worked through these individuals to give us the foundations to go on without them from here and answer God’s call upon our lives. We glimpsed God in their presence but now must fill their absence with His presence. We can only dedicate ourselves to carry forward all they left in us and serve our everlasting King of Kings.

Why, Lord? Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, a friend of the OSU coaches, hinted at the only answer I can fathom when she said, “I was devastated when I received the call this morning…It just hits home with all of us in this profession that truly we just coach a game. There’s a bigger picture out there and it’s not a basketball game.”

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord…” (Isaiah 6:1, NIV)

*Staff and wire reports, Ft. Worth Star Telegram, Nov 19. 2011.

©2011 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
This entry was posted in Trusting God, Yielding and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Where is God in the Tragedy?

  1. Hal says:

    I believe God is always present to comfort us and hold at all times. Certainly more so in difficult times when we just cannot hold our thin thread of life together. When I was very young I remember asking God why he let my dog run away. A tragic thing for a 10 year old who left the back yard gate open.It took me a while to understand that I left the gate open and God didn’t have a thing to do with it. I was at fault. There are many reason the aircraft they were flying may have come to such a tragic end. We may never know for sure what caused the accident but it is times like that when we don’t know the answers that we ask the “Why” question of God. I believe if God had had to made a choice he would not have taken the lives of those which have been such a positive influence for so many on this earth. I see God as a Loving God wanting us to continue in some way the good work these folks were doing.

    • Gloria Ashby says:

      Thank you for your insight, Hal. I agree that our God is a loving God who makes good out of all that befalls us, good or bad. I agree that He does not cause the tragedy, but believe that He will use for good and His eternal plan.

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