Last Wednesday night two teenage boys drowned in the Pella pool at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event. To add to the tragedy, they were Haitian refugees who had come to the States with their mother following the earthquake. Their father stayed behind in Haiti.
Someone said to me as we were talking about it, "There's a reason for everything." Whenever I hear that, and I hear it a lot, it's like waving a red flag in from of a bull. I want to jump up and down and scream, "No, no, there doesn't have to be a reason!" (I controlled myself however.) Surely, in this case there are clear reasons it happened. The mother signed a waiver noting they couldn't swim. The boys told the counselors at the pool they could. The counselors had forgotten to bring the waivers to the pool. There were 175 teenage boys in the pool splashing around the pool at once. The underwater light was burned out in the area of the pool where the boys drowned. There were all kinds of reasons this happened, but that doesn't mean it happened for a reason.
It wasn't "their time," nor was it "God's plan for their life." I refuse to believe that among all the death and destruction which resulted from the Haitian earthquake that these two boys were delivered from that just so that they could end up drowning in a pool in Pella, IA. What kind of God would do that? Would a loving God rescue this mother and her sons when so many around them perished, only to bring them to the U.S. to die here a few months later? What a cruel joke that would be! It would be like a school yard bully "accidentally" tripping the class nerd, helping him up, then tripping him again as he walks away.
I believe in a God who watched in horror as Haitian cities collapsed on His children. I believe in a God who was desperately trying to get the attention of someone pool side as these boys floundered, but for whatever reason no one did pay attention. I believe in a God who weeps with a heartbroken mother. And I believe in a God who is powerful enough and loving enough to take tragedies like these and reshaped their brokenness into something good and beautiful.