The idea of a “senseless tragedy” represents a worldview that is completely incompatible with Christian thought, because it assumes that something happens without a purpose or a meaning. But if God is God and if God is a God of providence and if God is sovereign, then nothing ever happens that is senseless in the final analysis. Things may appear to be without purpose or meaning. Their ultimate purpose might elude us for the present. Yet if we fail to see purpose in what happens, we must remember that our view of things is limited by our earthly perspective (R.C.Sproul).
“Bobby’s” death was tragic, but was it senseless? I don’t think so. Joseph left for dead by his brothers in Genesis 50 was able in the end to say, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” Others were ultimately saved because of an act of violence. I don’t know what Bobby’s death will bring. To some extent it’s up to those who knew him. A redemptive purpose evolved. Does gifting of bodily organs bring life for many? Yes, it is ultimately redemptive in purpose that one might need to die for others to live.
In Romans 8:28 Paul says, “In all things God works for the good of them who love Him who are called.” Not now perhaps, but in the long run or even in an eternal view it will not be senseless. God did not cause it, but He allows it in a broken world and He will redeem it for those willing to seek Him, not for the why, but for the what and how for now.
This is how the two men on the Road to Emmaus without hope were finally able to see the truth of the cross. In this tragic event of pain and suffering God Himself in Christ Jesus willingly was crucified for you and me. This seeming most selfless act of all history was to redeem, rescue and release all who would believe from their sin and shame. It was to stand in our place and do what we could not do. What appeared senseless and meaningless turned “Black Friday” into “Good Friday.”
All things God redeems. It is our hope in our suffering, an expression of comfort in the storm of uncertainty or doubt. It is the radical expression of comfort in affliction as 2 Corinthians 1:2-4 expresses. Even more so it represents absolute triumph of divine purpose over all alleged acts of chaos.
God in His providence or sovereignty has power and will work all things for the good of His people. That does not mean that everything that happens to us is in itself good. Really bad things do happen to all of us. But they are only in the proximate or short term, not ultimately bad. Because of God’s goodness ultimately He is able to turn tragedies into supreme blessings in His way and time.