Natural disasters. Civil unrest. In challenging times fear can be widespread. To help shift fear to faith, Silent Unity is inviting the world community to unite in prayer for 30 days by affirming the following prayer: The healing, harmonizing spirit of God is present in my life and all life. Peace, order, harmony, and well-being are restored.
Finding Peace When Tragedies Happen
By Jim Gaither
This article originally appeared in Unity Magazine®.
"Why did God let this happen?”
People of faith grieve and wonder why a good and all-powerful God would allow human suffering. Tragedies happen. Wars kill and destroy. Diseases cause suffering. Children die. Everyone is touched in some way by tragic events. We search for reasons and meaning but may not find what we seek. We feel denial, anger, despair and sometimes reach a point of acceptance. Yet even when we reach acceptance, we may still wonder, Why?
Let’s leave God out of the question and consider tragedies purely in terms of natural laws and human behavior. At that mundane level of explanation, we can find the causes of any tragedy. We can give political explanations for wars. We can give natural explanations for disease. Human behaviors that cause suffering can be explained in terms of personal choices, happenstance, genetics, psychology, and environment. When we look for natural causes, the “why it happens” becomes “how it happens.”
“How” explanations can be useful. When we know how bad things happen, we can find ways to decrease the frequency and probability of bad things occurring. Still, in knowing how suffering happens and how to avoid it, there is little or no comfort regarding what has already happened.
Once we admit “natural” causes of tragedies, God is no longer directly responsible for each event. If every human event can be explained in terms of nature and human choices, it makes no sense to ask why God let it happen. It only makes sense to ask different questions about God: Why did God make a universe that operates according to just this particular set of natural laws? Why did God put us in a world of risks and choices?
If the universe did not have laws, we would not be here. If we did not live in a world of risks and choices, we could not have free choice and could not be creative. If we were not free and creative, we would not be like God. Freedom involves risk.
We can learn to accept the world as it is. We can learn nonattachment, and we can focus on enjoying what there is to enjoy in life.
Like saints and mystics, we can pray and meditate to know God within us. The mystic strand in the world’s religions affirms that consciousness of God is consciousness of Love and Peace. I believe the quest to know God is the most satisfying and comforting path available to us in this life.
We can express love and peace right where we are. We can alleviate the suffering of others. We can make life more enjoyable. We can make this world a better place.
Regardless of why things happen, we can be at peace with existence and angels of compassion on earth.
Silent Unity would love to hear from you. Please share any thoughts, reflections, and blessings you received during the 30 Days of Fearless Living prayer initiative.
If you have a prayer request, please use the online form and it will be placed in our Prayer Vigil Chapel for 30 days of continuous prayer.