God also transforms our tragedies. While time, nature, and others enable us to survive and change (transform) through the aftermath of a tragic event, God also plays a part. I also believe he uses those other factors I mentioned. He may well also use other factors I haven’t thought of. His role, however, is often mysterious.
God’s role is hard to pinpoint because he’s often hidden. When we go through sadness, we question his presence. That wasn’t true, of course, when life went well for us. When depressed, however, we feel distant from everyone–others, ourselves, and God. Even Jesus in his dying moments cries, “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?” (KJV) from Psalm 22.
In one of his more sarcastic statements, Job also tells his friends in chapter 23: “But if I go East, He is not there; West–I still do not perceive Him; North–since He is concealed, I do not behold Him; South–He is hidden, and I cannot see Him.” One thing is obvious: God remains hidden. Convinced nevertheless of God’s presence, Job continues, “But He knows the way I take; Would He assay me, I should emerge as pure gold” (JPS, Jewish Publication Society translation).
So we know he’s there; at least we believe he is. When we suffer, however, we find him difficult to locate.