We often hear of tragedies! They shock us and often produce an impulsive and negative reaction. Earlier this year we heard the horrific news that an alligator dragged a two-year-old boy into a lake at Walt Disney World. Disney closed all the beaches at its resorts. More than fifty law-enforcement personnel searched the lake. They eventually found the boy's body and presume that he drowned.
Some blamed Disney for not posting signs warning about alligators in the water. Others were quick to blame the parents. As with the boy who fell into a gorilla pit in Cincinnati, people on social media lambasted the mother and father who allowed their son to play in the water.
Why do we feel such a need to assign blame when tragedy strikes?
According to the United Nations, 437,000 people around the world were murdered in 2012 (their most recent report). However, National Geographic reports that 725,000 people die every year from diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. Freshwater snails transmit schistosomiasis, which kills between 20,000 and 200,000 a year. Annually, snakes kill 94,000 to 125,000; scorpions kill 3,250; sharks kill six people. And there's no one to accuse for any of these tragedies.
It's human nature to blame others so we can maintain the illusion of safety for ourselves. I can say that I wouldn't have allowed my children into the Disney lagoon, but how many other times did I unknowingly put them at risk?
Obviously we should prevent every tragedy we can. But we should also admit that much of life is beyond our control:
• "You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes", James 4:14.
• "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring",
• "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble", Matthew 6:34.
The same law of gravity that enables us to walk causes us harm when we fall. Alligators are essential to the Florida ecosystem but dangerous to humans. We cannot have natural laws without the consequences of these laws.
So control what you can and trust your Father for what you cannot. Make sure that the biggest danger in life, death, is covered so that when the unexpected happens you are safe.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, Acts 16:31.