Mt. Zion Bus Crash, Monday,
THE BIG PICTURE
I want to bring up some disturbing questions over these next five posts. So bear with me please.
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN!?!?!?
WHEN CAN THIS BE PREVENTED!?!?!?
WHAT SHOULD I PRAY NOW!?!?!?
HOW CAN I TRUST GOD AGAIN!?!?!?
Surely these people must have prayed for protection!?!?!?
Before the bus left the church grounds, surely a church pastor or staff person probably prayed for protection, wouldn’t you think? Do you think that maybe the wrong person prayed? Maybe the person who prayed had unconfessed sin in his or her life?
On the bus somebody probably prayed for protection. And you know that the prayer teams have been praying for protection leading up to the trip. They surely had prayed for protection numerous times!
So What Happened?
Did God not hear the prayers? Was there a memo that God’s Guardian Angel was supposed to get and read? Maybe he didn’t get the memo? Please hear me. I am NOT trying to be flippant. I am merely asking the questions the way many of you are. Maybe the Guardian Angel was sidetracked by a demon at just the right time. How could this have happened with so much prayer?
On the other hand, maybe I am assuming too much. Maybe they forgot to pray for protection, praying for everything except protection. Could this have been prevented had they prayed differently or properly?
No, surely they prayed for protection.
And so, if this is what happens even when you have a whole bunch of people praying the best they can, why should I pray for protection? I mean really, does it make sense?
And then if I do pray for protection why shouldn’t I worry-my-head-off the entire trip wondering if God won’t answer my prayer, like He clearly didn’t with the Mt. Zion bus? In fact, now that I think about it, every time I do get on a plane or get in the car, I should probably “count-my-lucky-stars” that I made it safely, if I make it safely!
Based on what happened to this poor bus and all those people, I suppose that getting off the plane or getting out of the car saying, “Whew, I made it. How lucky am I,” is an appropriate response.
Okay, Let’s Pause for a Moment.
Because the truth is, none of these things above feel right to say, let alone write. And yet, some or all of them are the things that we think. So how do we deal with them in light of Scripture. How do we reconcile just two verses that are sure to eventually impact us?
I know that being worried isn’t appropriate. Especially when scripture talks about us not worrying (Matthew 6:34). And I know that Scripture talks about trusting in God (Proverbs 3:5a), but if you and I were to confess honestly we would say that all or part of the tirade above is challenging you right now. And these passages above are only a few of the passages that are ricocheting through our brains.
If you have decided that this kind of an accident proves to you that it doesn’t make any sense at all to pray, I completely understand. Join me over the following 4 days as we look at:
1. Why did this happen?
2. When can this be prevented?
3. What should I pray now?
4. How can I trust God again?
Let’s be honest, this kind of an incident causes us to say, “If God didn’t listen to all of these other people’s prayers why would He listen to my prayers or your prayers?”
Do you see the quandary were in?
Let me share with you the issues we will delve into with the next 4 posts.
Why Did This Happen:
Some would argue that bad things happen when there is unconfessed sin in people’s lives. Which leads to the question of whether or not God BRINGS BAD things into people’s lives. Since He’s a “good” God He merely ALLOWS bad things, right? What does His “ways being higher than our ways” mean to us? And then, does God owe us an explanation? Which begs the question, what is going to happen to my “faith” in light of this kind of tragedy?
When Can This Be Prevented:
Surely there are special prayers for specific instances that I can TRUST God to hear and answer, and answer MY WAY, aren’t there? What does “His sovereignty” mean, especially in the light of sataN being the “god of this world.” Did the evil one “throw-a-fastball” by God?” He can’t do that, can he? Does God ever look down from heaven and say, “Gabriel, Michael, come here quick. How did that happen?” And moving forward, can I keep God from choosing to allow something difficult from happening? So all of this brings up the question, could this have been prevented?
What Should I Pray Now:
I guess the next question, related to this bus crash is, how will it impact my prayer-life? And not just for protection, for myself or others, but about EVERY subject! I mean really, what works? Is prayer just “blind-luck?” What words should I use when I pray? Is there any confidence that God gives us about prayer, because “I’m not feelin’ it” if there is? Are there parameters that I can follow (and still get what I want)? Again, what will work?
How Can I Trust God Again:
In fact, the real issue after all of this is a TRUST issue. Since prayer doesn’t seem to work, how can I trust Him? Even if I do not worry about the issues in MY life, how can I trust Him with my loved one’s life? I hate to admit this, but if I have ever wondered about trusting God, wondered if prayer is worth doing, then this surely proves to me that I cannot! And what argument would someone use to show me that I can trust God again? I can’t imagine trusting Him again, I just can’t.
Join us, every day this week, as we go through these issues. And if you would, pray for me as I address these issues, and probably more.
I don’t mean to be flippant or trivial when I say this, but the truth is some of you are going to truly want to do the following (and I believe that God has big enough shoulders for you). So, feel free to pray, “God, I don’t know how this tragedy could have happened. I don’t even know anymore, if prayer isn’t merely blind-luck. But Mark is asking for wisdom (James 1:5) so, if You can, if You do this, and if You hear us, please give him wisdom, because he’s gonna need it.”
Thank you my friends. I will see you here tomorrow at MarkMirza.com.
I intend to have these up by 6:00 AM (Eastern time) each morning.