1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The Lesson From Virginia Tech

Making Sense of the Virginia Tech Tragedy



I've heard some ask, "How could something so horrible happen? How could a loving God allow this?"

Billy Graham, the famous Christian evangelist once said, "Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has." History has proven that the human spirit shines brightest when tested by adversity. Though we may never understand the senseless massacre that happened at Virginia Tech, we can certainly learn a lesson through this tragedy. Join Jack Zavada of Inspiration-for-Singles.com as he dares us to be honest with God and consider "The Lesson From Virginia Tech."

The Lesson From Virginia Tech

The shooting deaths of students and faculty at Virginia Tech University have left all of us stunned and once again in anguish over the cruelty of random violence.

One of the saddest consequences of this incident is that thousands of people will give up on God.

Nonbelievers will point to this injustice and say, "See? This proves there is no God." Many believers will abandon their faith, thinking, "I can't follow a God who allows something like this to happen."

Both responses are exactly what Satan wants.

Despite millions of hours of conversation, thousands of newspaper, magazine and Internet articles, no one is able to explain it. The surface cause of insanity is simply inadequate. It fails to answer how something so horrible could happen.

Facing Our Disappointment With God

Christianity demands honesty. Christ is the embodiment of truth, and he expects us to be truthful with him as well. We are most truthful when we tell him how we hurt.

Some misguided believers think it's disrespectful to be angry with God or to complain about how your life is going. They should become more familiar with the Psalms.

Jesus experienced firsthand how devastating human existence can be. The shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35, tells us how the Son of God responded to the death of his friend Lazarus: "Jesus wept."

In his book Disappointment with God, Philip Yancey recalls his emotions when he first believed in a God of love:

Someone is there, I realized. Someone is watching life as it unfolds on this planet. More, Someone is there who loves me. It was a startling feeling of wild hope, a feeling so new and overwhelming that it seemed fully worth risking my life on.

In the midst of our confusion and disappointment, we have the unmistakable sureness that God is the only thing that's real, the only thing worth putting our faith in.

Who Are You in the Story?

You're probably familiar with Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, found in Luke 10:30-37. A traveler is beaten, robbed, and left by the side of the road to die. A priest and Levite walk around him, not wanting to get involved. Only a Samaritan, a member of a mixed race despised by the Jews, takes pity on the man, treats his wounds, takes him to an inn, and pays for his recovery there.

Who do you identify with in Jesus' story? If you've ever been mistreated and alone, you know the pain of being a victim. Too often though, we act like the priest or Levite, afraid to get involved.

Jesus calls us to be the Good Samaritan. In every workplace and every school there is a sad, lonely person who needs a friend. Who knows what difference you might make in the life of someone who has grown angry and bitter?

When You're Most Like Christ

Every time I read a gospel passage about Jesus reaching out to love the unlovable, it brings tears to my eyes. Who of us hasn't been unlovable at some time in our life? Who of us hasn't felt so hopeless that we were unable to help ourselves?

Whether it was struggling to find a job, suffering the rejection of divorce, enduring a physical disability, or grieving over a lost loved one, our situation started to turn around when some godly person set their own priorities aside and cared enough to stop and love us.

We are most like Christ when we take a risk and help someone who is hurting. That is the example Jesus showed us in his life and that is the lesson we must take away from Virginia Tech.

The families and friends of the victims need Christlike love to help them get through the dark times ahead. But we don't have to wait until tragedy happens to find someone who needs our time and compassion. They're all around us. They need us right now.

Because Christ loves us, we can love others. That's the lesson of all tragedies. That's the lesson of life.

Also from Jack Zavada:
Loneliness: Toothache of the Soul
Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown
A Message Meant for Only One Person
Mathematical Proof of God?

Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian Web site for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.