You may have heard of the teenage girl who remarkably survived a plane crash off the Comoros Islands. Bahia Bakari is 13, she was on the plane with her mother, on their way to visit relatives. 153 on the plane — 152 assumed dead — 1 survival. She was ejected from the plane, landed in the water, managed to hang onto a piece of something, and escaped with a fractured collarbone and a few cuts to her face.
The head of the rescue team in the Comoros talked about her survival against astonishing odds. “It is truly, truly, miraculous,” said Ibrahim Abdoulazeb. “The young girl can barely swim.” Kasim Bakeri — her father — said, “She is a very, very shy girl. I would never have thought she would have survived like this. I can’t say that it’s a miracle, but I can say that it is God’s will,” he said.
I’m always unsure what to do with a comment like that. I’m sure I would make the same comment if I was her father… and I’m sure that I would struggle with that comment if my daughter was one of the 152. Of course this is a theological question which deals with the nature of God’s sovereignty and the pervasiveness of evil. But it is also a pastoral, relational, meaning of life kind of question.
I don’t feel compelled to understand the full depths of the mystery of why crap happens — why bad things happen to good people.. or for that matter why good things happen to bad people. But I will say that life is a gift and every day that we are given should be lived with the sense of God’s calling us into life — his will. And for the Christian, death is a defeated enemy that seeks to steal joy but in the end is nothing more than a doorway to more life.
Bahia is in my prayers today, that she will know and follow God’s call and find the life that He offers.