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Oh God, Where Were You When I Needed You?

A farming family in Pa lost seven children in a morning blaze. An earthquake and tidal wave strikes Japan and kills maybe thousands... What causes such terrible tragedies and where was God when this happened?   Garner Ted Armstrong's insight is a must read...


The preceding story was related to me by the father of the boys, an executive in the radio business from Alaska, when he attended the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Chicago, Illinois.

        I had been invited to give the invocation at a dinner for about 2,000 radio-station owners and managers from all over the country; the main speaker that day was Paul Harvey.

        During the recess after lunch, one of the radio executives asked if he might ask me a personal question. He then related the tragic story of his two baby sons' death. He had already asked his own pastor, or perhaps two or more ministers. He and his wife were searching for some understanding; they needed to know WHY—WHY would a loving God allow this to happen?


        If there IS a God, and if GOD IS LOVE, then WHY?

        Now, if someone asks some other person that question, he has a perfect out. All most people have to do is to cluck away sympathetically, or, if genuine emotion is really felt, show some sincere empathy with such a tragically bewildered parent. However, it only requires a polite disclaimer: "I've always wondered about that too," or, "Well, I don't know. I lost a son in Vietnam, and I have never understood why he had to die when all these others..."

        But this was different.
        I am a minister.

        He had asked a minister: a man who had been preaching the Word of God over his radio station for years, a man who had just finished delivering a heartfelt prayer to God in front of 2,000 hard-bitten businessmen.

        No minister could simply shake his head and profess he didn't have the answer to such a tragic, perplexing question. But the gentleman told me he had already asked two or three others, and they merely muttered something vague about "mysterious" ways of God and faith and such, and allowed as how "His ways are past finding out."

        By the time the man and his wife wrestled with these vague generalities for a while, they were as distraught and puzzled as ever. Hurt, bewildered, feeling deserted in their most desperate hour of need, they kept reliving their anguished attempts for hour upon hour to revive their twin boys, their frantic mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, their desperate tears, their prayers.


        I began to explain.

Tragedies—by the Millions