October 17, 2011
Trevor Beeson stood at the high altar of Westminster Abbey to celebrate the marriage of his daughter, Catharine, to Anthony, aged twenty-three. Nine months later he stood before the same altar for Anthony's funeral. Anthony had been killed when his car ran into a wall in East London. Four months later, Trevor returned to the altar beside the coffin of his friend and hero Earl Mountbatten, who died when his fishing boat was blown to pieces by Irish terrorist. Reflecting on the experience, he said he could not blame God for these senseless tragedies. He wrote:
“I should find it impossible to believe in, and worship, a God who arranged for the great servants of the community to be blown up on their holidays and who deliberately turned a young man's car into a brick wall. . .. This is not the God of love whose ways are revealed in the Bible and supremely in the life of Jesus Christ.”
Beeson found two insights that helped him to cope with his tragedy and to look beyond it: "The first is that, although God is not responsible for causing tragedy, he is not a detached observer of our suffering. On the contrary, he is immersed in it with us, sharing to the full our particular grief and pain. This is the fundamental significance of the cross."
Second, although we naturally ask, "Why did it happen?" Beeson discovered that the more important question is "What are we going to make of it?"; "Every tragedy contains within it the seeds of resurrection."
Perhaps you have suffered some tragedy in your life. While it is normal to ask “Why did this happen,” you do not have to be stuck with that question. You can choose a different response to the tragedies in your life. You can trust the power of God to hold you firm, to give you strength, and to see you through.
Click here to see past Faith Moments