soldier20and20flagI was driving home from work yesterday when I heard about what happened at Fort Hood. This kind of tragedy always leaves me asking the question: “Why?”

One of the hardest truths to accept is that we may never know the reason this side of heaven. Nor, in the case of other people’s suffering, need we ever know! God deals with us as individuals in a very personal way. As C.S. Lewis said, God only tells us our story…not someone elses.  We cannot expect God to give us the inside scoop on every current event in the world. In a kind loving way, He often tells us to mind our own business. He does not want what we see happening around us to dampen our trust in Him.

When God revealed to the Apostle Peter what kind of death he was going to die, Peter’s first reaction was to look back at John and wonder, “What about him?” Jesus refused to answer his question. “What does it matter what happens to John? You follow me.”  When we witness events like the massacre at Fort Hood, we turn the question around and ask, “What about me?” After all, if God could allow such a tragedy in someone else’s life, isn’t it possible that He could do that same to me?  

This is the problem, I believe, with comparing our pain with others. Too often, it stirs up feelings of pride, fear, guilt and bitterness. We must accept on faith that God is working in the lives of those suffering from the tragedy at Fort Hood just as He is working in our lives through our own struggles. The “why” and the “how” is not necessarily for us to know.

Our responsibility is twofold:

1. To wrestle with God over our own hurts and ultimately submit ourselves under His infinite wisdom and control.(Psalm 102)

2. To seek out opportunities to relate to those who are in pain and provide them with the comfort God has given us.    (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

This is how God can use pain to bring us closer to Him and to each other.