The recent tragedy of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 since last Saturday (8th March 2014) certainly brings this question to the minds of many people of faith: If God is good, why does He allow bad thing happened? Why does He permit this tragic disaster to occur? While the most honest and truthful (and often cliché) answer is that “He’s God and He knows what He’s doing” – we as a human beings know that we need more than that.
Maybe this is the part where the Book of Job is very relevant for us today. The only truth that came out from Zaphar’s lip was when he asked Job, “Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty?” (Job 11:7, NLT) When Job doesn’t understand what was really happened to him, God needs him to understand that – at the moment of his present disaster, Job doesn’t need to understand why. Knowing this mystery and the sovereignty of God in all things can often make the difference between moving closer to the Lord or turning our backs on Him.
It would be impossible, in just one short article, to go into all the reasons for suffering and for why God allows tragedy. There are many good books written for that purpose. I trust that task to the Holy Spirit to reveal and teach you and to your pastor to explain it to you. (As Christian workers, we try our best to do this). Instead, I want to focus on 7 suggestions on how we should respond to this tragedy:
#1: Try to Pray-on-the-Spot
Every time I read people posted “Pray for MH370”, I wonder, do they really pray? Besides being hypocrite, more often than not even sincere people also sometime didn’t pray because they forget about what they had said and promised they will do. Last night, I and my friends; Supang, Finiks and Donald spontaneously prayed for the tragedy while waiting for our movie show. Instead of talking and hoping for the best, we decided to take time to pray on the spot. While reading the news or while driving, take your personal time to pray.
#2: Try Compassion
Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” While empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another person, compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help. I believe that if we really being compassionate toward the MH370 victims and their love ones, we wouldn’t have thoughts of saying or writing about sensitive matters that may hurt others. Though in practical most of us can’t be there physically to help, we do much help when we pray and spread words of hope to one another. We will seek the great good for others.
#3: Try Get the Latest Updates
Get the latest updates about the MH370 tragedy will help us to respond better and more accurately. Never try to be in the know-it-all or be an expert or try to spread unwarranted speculations which are not based on truth and evident. Shut up more and speak up less. Unless you’re the media reporters or the rescuers on the ground, Malaysians will appreciate if you keep your opinions to yourselves.
#4: Try Not to Major on Only One News
By now, all eyes and ears are on the MH370 tragedy. As much as it is important to be concern about the tragedy, most of us sometime unaware of what others important news happening around Malaysia at this time such as raging Cameron Highlands forest fire, unhealthy and thick haze in Shah Alam, BR1M 3.0 is not distribute properly, no rain and water problem, Anwar Ibrahim was found guilty by the Court of Appeal, Datuk Lee Chong Wei wins the All-England Open title for a third time, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that the leakages in the subsidy supply chain cannot be avoided as long as price controls and bulk subsidies are set in place by the government, etc.
Do you know about all these news?
#5: Try Self-Control
By this I mean we don’t need to repeat what people have said. Control the amount of our Facebook and social media posts about the MH370 tragedy. Maybe we can reduce the amount of links and only share what we ourselves have read and understood. Self-control here also mean that we don’t get too obsess with the news that we forget to do what we should do such as our tasks at workplace, assignments at class and responsibilities at home. Balance between suggestion #3, #4 and #5.
#6: Try Silence and Solitude
Flee, be silent and pray.
#7: Place Your Faith, Hope and the Future to God
Yesterday I wrote: “In time of crisis, our weaknesses revealed. In time of chaos, we finally realized who our true friends are and who our real foes are. The nation is a picture of the conditions of its leaders and people. The people's reactions are the state of what they believe. There is no obvious emotional and visible differences – we all think and feel very much the same – but what really make the difference is, the invincible: Faith in the the Living Christ. That is why I consciously pray for the MH370 and places my Faith in Him who is There with us. Other than this, we have no hope both now and the future” (Edited). These are my suggestions.
“We are merely moving shadows…
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you”
(Psalms 39:6-7, NLT)
Lord, Please Send MH370 Home, We Pray. Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.