This week, just hours after the bridge collapsed, John Piper was leading his family in devotions. It just so happened (coincidence?) that the scheduled reading that evening was from Luke 13:1-9, a passage that tells about Jesus’ response to the horrible news that worshipers were slaughtered by Pilate.
I hope you’ll read John Piper’s whole post. It must have been such a comfort to him to “happen” upon a bit of scripture that revealed part of God’s perspective on tragedies — just when tragedy struck.
Piper’s take on everything is very God-centered. Here’s a snippet from this post:
We prayed during our family devotions. Talitha (11 years old) and Noel and I prayed earnestly for the families affected by the calamity and for the others in our city. Talitha prayed “Please don’t let anyone blame God for this but give thanks that they were saved.” When I sat on her bed and tucked her in and blessed her and sang over her a few minutes ago, I said, “You know, Talitha, that was a good prayer, because when people ‘blame’ God for something, they are angry with him, and they are saying that he has done something wrong. That’s what “blame” means: accuse somebody of wrongdoing. But you and I know that God did not do anything wrong. God always does what is wise. And you and I know that God could have held up that bridge with one hand.” Talitha said, “With his pinky.” “Yes,” I said, “with his pinky. Which means that God had a purpose for not holding up that bridge, knowing all that would happen, and he is infinitely wise in all that he wills.”
Talitha said, “Maybe he let it fall because he wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.” “Yes, Talitha,” I said, “I am sure that is one of the reasons God let the bridge fall.”
Sometimes our feelings and despair can get in the way of trusting God. Sometimes our understanding can block the truth — that God is always good — from our eyes. I have been in some sort of funk for the past couple years, and am just realizing that part of it has stemmed from not trusting God, not believing that He really is GOOD, ALL THE TIME.
I pray that God will reach down to the Twin Cities and pour out his love to them. I pray that the people there would lean on Him in the midst of such tragedy, and learn to trust Him.
One more article, Reasons Believers in Christ Need Not Be Afraid (originally written after the events of September 11, 2001) brings hope and comfort to us who are living in a world where sometimes bridges fall (or car accidents happen, etc.)