Job asks, “Why do I, a righteous man, suffer?” God responds, “None of your business.”
Hardly satisfactory. Thus, we attempt to find reasons, personal ones, behind all tragedies. Whether it be gays, liberals, Trump, or people who put mayo on peanut butter sandwiches, we want great disasters to mean something. Personally, we want to think its because God is disciplining us, punishing us for sin or preparing us for the future.
That is not the way the world works.
It was so much easier for the pagans who saw in every breeze a spirit with a name who might be unhappy at your behavior.
No, the world works on principles of cause and effect that were set in motion before our planet formed. Storms happen, people die, children are happy and healthy or not. Yes, some actions can be attributed directly and indirectly to human action, but those are often obvious or at least identifiable.
This is not to say that God does not at times intervene in history in unusual ways, things we call miracles. However, we should see those as the exception and not the norm. Babies and sunsets and getting an “A” on that test are all wonderful and can be attributed to the grace of God, but they are not miracles no matter how hard they were to get. Miracles are those things that fall far beyond comprehension, that violate causality. That are singularly rare.
So too are things we attribute to Divine Wrath, things we do not often call “curses” but often describe as such. Those suffering the devastation of Hurricane Michael did not “deserve” it, nor do those who have AIDS, nor do those experiencing drought, nor do the poor, nor do those who do not have a home.
When we eliminate Divine Judgement from our moral calculus the Christian is left with a clear conclusion: If we see suffering we are to work to alleviate the suffering. How might be problematic or clear, but that is still the answer. We do not have the luxury of saying “you are but reaping what you sow, I cannot help you.” That is not a Biblical answer.
Nor should we trust Divine intervention to save the day. We are the tools God has put in the world to make it a better place. Salt and Light, remember? We act and God acts through us. We are the Body of Christ still at work in the world.
So, stop working on fish hooks to catch Leviathan. You were not there and do not know why things happen. All you can see are the consequences. If the consequences are good rejoice with them, if they are suffering then do all you can to fix it. You are not the agent of judgement, but you are the agent of grace.
Go. Get busy being God’s Grace.