J Walking

J Walking

Giving God His due

When the bridge went down on Wednesday night, the fears for massive loss of life were great. I talked to a reporter friend on the scene and she said that the sense was it might be pretty bad.
Now comes news that the loss of life is likely be far lower than expected:

As many as 30 had been feared missing because the bridge fell during bumper-to-bumper traffic.
“We were surprised that we didn’t have more people seriously injured and killed,” Minneapolis Fire Chief Jim Clack said. “I think it was something of a miracle.”

Why those that were lost were lost is not a question we can answer in spiritual terms. But that the loss of life wasn’t greater, that the injured will survive after a bridge collapsed is something that God deserves credit for. The fire chief is right, it is “something of a miracle.” I find it so easy to blame God at the worst and to forget him at other times assuming that having things go well should be the norm. I pray for safe travels for my wife when she has to leave. I pray for safety and protection for my girls (and now boy) and when they are safe a big part of my mind simply thinks, “good, great, yeah, that is the way it is supposed to be.”
I don’t want to keep living that way though. I want to live in great thankfulness for all that God does every day. And one good place to start is to thank Him for saving so many lives that horrible night and for hearing the prayers of so many people.

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posted August 4, 2007 at 2:05 am

my heart really goes out to all of those people dead and alive. we need to really pray and stay on our knees man we need God there is so much going on.

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posted August 4, 2007 at 2:09 am

i learn and seen that minneapolis situation God showed me it could happen anywhere to anyone no matter who youare or what you maybe and to just make sure i am totally sold out to him and be ready when he call my name because no day is promised to no man, thats bible. i know i am not ready but i need to be ready and to do what God has called me to do.

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minneapolis mourner

posted August 4, 2007 at 1:12 pm

I don’t understand why God deserves credit for saving some, but not blame for the others dying. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Either God has total control over everyone and everything or he doesn’t. The potential loss of life was significantly reduced because of the resurfacing project that closed many lanes of traffic – in your logic that would be God’s work. What if we find out that the resurfacing was a factor in the collapse? [For purposes of discussion only, no one knows why the bridge collapsed.] Is God still to be honored for having the resurfacing done at exactly that time? I sure hope that the missing construction worker wasn’t just collateral damage to God.
I cannot grasp or worship a God who picks and chooses who to save and who to let die. I believe that His heart broke at the tragic death of His people. I also belief that to really see God’s heart in this tragedy we must look at the way strangers helped each other to safety and risked their own lives. That is the God of Love.

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posted August 4, 2007 at 2:37 pm

As has been pointed out, the problem with praising God for the unexpectedly low number of fatalities is that it then begs the question of why didn’t God save the people who were killed in the collapse?

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posted August 4, 2007 at 2:40 pm

I should have noted in my previous post that I’m a firm materialist. The bridge collapsed because of structural failure. Fewer died than expected because some lanes were closed. It really is just that simple – no need to bring in supernatural reasoning.

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Larry Parker

posted August 4, 2007 at 7:34 pm

A textbook description of the theory that G-d is not “all-powerful” in the human sense we think of that term, but that G-d IS there to comfort those affected by tragedies.
Not a criticism, BTW, since I tend toward that view myself …

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posted August 4, 2007 at 11:23 pm

But that the loss of life wasn’t greater, that the injured will survive after a bridge collapsed is something that God deserves credit for.
So if more people had died, does that mean God wasn’t paying attention that day? Or maybe if more people had died, that’d be an indication that they all deserved it? Terrible ad-hoc theologizing like this is a big part of why I’m no longer a Christian. You’re an interesting guy David, but this is really, really dumb. As John noted above, structural failure and happenstance are all that’s needed to explain stuff like this. Or if that’s too materialistic for you, read the Bible you’re supposedly so fond of: “God makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the just and unjust alike.” Matthew 5:45
Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.

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Marian Neudel

posted August 7, 2007 at 12:44 pm

It would be encouraging if the various investigations of the collapse tried to figure out why the loss of life was so small, so we could reduce it even further the next time a bridge crumbles. So far, nobody has been asking that question.

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posted November 21, 2007 at 11:00 am

I would love for God to save the life of all the people in all acidents and disasters, but since that isnt going to happen I am not going to pray that. I dont have a clue as to where these people are suppose to be in the plan. I try to pray GODS PERFECT WILL, and trust Him. IE:If I pray for some ones healing and it is there time to go to see God and he answers my prayer that is witch craft. controlling prayers. As I dont like to see any one in pain or destitute I have to be very careful what i pray

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