In America last weekend, a small plane went down in rural Kentucky, leaving four members of a family dead. Out of the wreckage came one lone survivor: the 7 year old daughter and the one member of the family who survived. The little girl was able to walk seven miles, knock on the door of a house and tell her story to the owner. Incredibly she also led rescue workers to the wreckage. She had only minor cuts and bruises and was later released from a hospital. It is an incredible story.
Why did one little girl survive the crash when four others did not? Was it time and chance? Was it her location in the plane and the way it hit the ground? Was it a miracle—one of those unexplainable occurrences left for others to speculate based on their beliefs in things beyond this world? Even as one little girl survives and four others don’t, what does that mean?
The skeptic would say that it means nothing more than that life is random, without meaning, and that this happened strictly due to mechanical or human failure. He could be partly right and partly wrong. Friends and surviving family members back home might look at this little girl rising from the wreckage and walking for help as a miracle and would thank God for her life. It depends on one's perspective.
Perhaps the comment of a Kentucky State trooper sums it up: “This girl came out of the wreckage herself and found the closest residence and reported the plane crash,” Sgt. Dean Patterson said. “It’s a miracle in a sense that she survived it, but it’s tragic that four others didn’t.” What is it about this 7 year old girl's life that she survived when four others in her family didn’t?
A miracle and a tragedy. Can you have it both ways? Perhaps that is a way to explain something like this.
When Christ commented on the tragic accident at a place called Siloam where 18 people died when a tower collapsed, He asked if they were worse sinners than all others. The answer was no, they were not. He urged His listeners to consider their own lives in light of the tragedy and take steps to change for the better—to repent. For those who had heard of the tragedy, it was the only thing they could do.
On a bitter cold week in January with other bad news coming out of France, to look at this little girl surviving a plane crash offers a glimmer of light on an otherwise dark scene. There are many things that happen in this world we cannot completely explain physically or even spiritually. God does not give us all the answers for every event of life.
For me, I thank God for this little girl’s life. I hope she will be motivated to make for herself a noble and good life in deep gratitude and awe for being given a second chance. May God be with her.