Monday, March 31, 2014

Mysterious Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 and Marvelous Life Lessons Learnt


On 25th March CNN announced, “"We're not searching for a needle in a haystack," Mark Binskin, vice chief of the Australian Defence Force, told reporters.”We're still trying to define where the haystack is."” The same day the Malay premier declared that MH370 crashed into the South Indian Ocean and all 239 people onboard were presumed to be dead. 1

While one statement is distant to any conclusion whatsoever, the other statement pronounces a concrete closure to MH370 saga. Although it is difficult to understand this situation, the pain of the loved ones could be remotely felt. Their pain is unbearable. It is horrendous to be in such a situation.

However, this sad situation teaches us a few life lessons.

Fallibility of Man

            Although it is possible that MH370 has crashed and all onboard dead, conflicting media reports keeps us guessing the truth claim of that possibility. Then there are those who come up with conspiracy theories, so to keep skepticism and uncertainty alive and well.

When conflicting reports inundate us, truth and trust suffers. Who is speaking the truth? Who do we trust? Should our existence be immersed in skepticism?

Conflicting media reports cannot be trusted on its face value. All men cannot be trusted always; only some can be trusted more often than not. Those who can be trusted are those who have earned our trust over a period of time through the relationship we have shared in close proximity with each other.

In this case, the families of those onboard may find it difficult to trust those providing them with reports about missing aircraft. It’s quite plausible that the authorities are withholding information. Man has not given them any hope whatsoever.

Frailty of Science

            Science has offered us a privilege of always boarding an airplane with optimism. I have never smelt death while boarding an airplane. Significantly, there was not even one aircraft accident of the magnitude of MH370 in 2013. 2 This is science’s achievement. This is due to God’s gracious and active presence in this world. 

            In 2000, when President Clinton visited India, certain sections of media glorified the security offered to him. Apparently, the US satellites deployed to watch over the President had the ability to incessantly monitor the movement of the second hand of a wrist watch. Such was their power and precision to monitor the movement of even the smallest object in the vicinity of the President.

            If technology possessed such power and precision then, today’s technology should have been enhanced thousand fold. But why is science unable to trace the path of the aircraft, even after the plane’s transponders were switched off?

Why is science unable to provide common man with answers for an event that occurred on earth (we are not even talking about outer space)? Probably the common man would never know.

            If what’s been said is true - that the aircraft with 239 people onboard is truly unable to be traced, all I can conclude is that science is only in the process of conquering the greater challenges of life. While science is definite about certain subjects, it’s weak on other subjects.

But the fact remains; science cannot be relied and trusted in all circumstances. Science seems to have failed us in this situation.

Beauty of Love

            None of the 239 onboard MH370 may have been friends with us. However, we grieve as if we had always known them. This is the beauty of love.

            Man, made in the image of God, shares the love of God. Because he loves his unseen neighbor, he grieves his neighbor’s loss as if it were his own.

            But the beauty of love includes the hatred of evil deeds. If and only if the MH370 disappeared due to terrorism, one cannot expect man to love the evil deed of the terrorists. But terrorists are victims of their circumstances that are deep in deception. They possess the wrong ideology; they believe falsehood as truth, hence they practice evil.  

We are called to love our neighbors; the terrorists are our neighbors too (Mark 12: 31a). By the grace of God we can love the terrorists so to pray for their deliverance, and even their families, who may even be an unwilling part. But we cannot love their evil deeds.  This is the beauty of love.

Tragedy In False Accusations

Why did the pilot’s son defend his father’s innocence? 3

Some media reports blame the pilots for the disappearance of MH370. Unfortunately, the pilots’ families will have to bear the brunt of this attack. Although concrete evidences convicting the pilots are yet to be provided, some people may be totally impolite and insane to taunt the family members as if the pilots were the culprits.

False accusation is an incredible trial and a tragedy. How should the falsely-accused deal with false accusation? While we cannot discount God from the picture, God’s people will also provide the family with the much needed encouragement and comfort. These are people who continue to love, care, pray and provide for the family in times of their stress and distress.

We should not pronounce judgment, especially when the evidences against the accused are highly speculative in nature.  

Unpredictability of Life

            A poignant description of life’s uncertainty is marvelously expressed in these words, “How do you know what will happen even tomorrow? What, after all, is your life? It is like a puff of smoke visible for a little while and then dissolving into thin air” (James 4: 14, PHILLIPS).

            Our life is so unpredictable that we need to quickly, constantly and consistently maximize its potential. Are we focusing on accumulating wealth by discarding God to a particular day in a week or an hour in a day? This is gross injustice inflicted upon ourselves.

Our existence is intelligibly sustained by God. Thus it is irrational to relegate our existence to mere chance or fate, which has its feet firmly planted in midair.

Viewing our lives through the eyes of God – the maker of heaven and earth would help us understand life’s situations better.  Trying to make sense of MH370’s disappearance in light of God is a fruitful and not a futile endeavor.

But a more basic question is, “do we know the one true God?” If not, we ought to strive to know the one true and living God. To know, love and obey God is our life’s constant endeavor, so to gain peace and eternal security. Thus one can maximize his life through its unpredictability.

Reliability of God

            Of this I am sure – that humans are imperfect. There is no perfect man or woman – no, not even one. Man will fail us especially when we do not expect him to fail.

Think about the families of the 239 people onboard MH370. Think about the long duration they have to endure without knowing if their dear one is dead or alive. At the end of the day, they need answers to satisfy their questions. They remain dissatisfied for they have not received answers from man.

They are very sad. Maybe their friends can console them to partly heal them of their sadness. But it is also certain that man cannot entirely heal sadness, for sadness is a matter of our heart and soul. Man cannot heal the damage inflicted upon the heart and soul of his fellow being.  

But the families have deep questions. Why did their loved one die an early, sudden and a gory death? Why are they relegated to a state of uncertainty about the fate of their loved one? Questions of this nature are numerous.

Man or science cannot answer such deep questions of the soul. Only God can. Only God can touch the need of the human heart with HIS nail pierced hands. Only God can satisfy the needs of the human heart, provided man is humble and willing to hear from HIM.

Think about this. If I do not want to hear what you are trying to communicate, then I will not hear your statements. If I am only partially aware of your communication, I would only integrate the partial truth. This is precisely how the relationship works between God and man.

If man thinks that God is inadequate to answer his questions or if man does not trust in God, then man shuts God out of his life. Man has only himself to blame. Such a man does not love God. He rejects God. So he will always be longing for answers. Such a man will always remain dissatisfied.


Only God can answer man’s deep questions and heal his sadness. God will answer and heal, if man allows HIM to speak to his need. Man should also focus on receiving God’s truth, even when that truth may be unpleasant to his ears. Man should rely on God always.

May God heal the pain and sorrow of the families of those presumed to be dead and all the others who are suffering in various other predicaments. This is my prayer in Christ’s name. Amen.





Magdi O. said...

God, I offer myself to Thee-
To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!

Raj Richard said...

Thank you for this prayer. I join with you, Brother Magdi and I pray this in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.