Read this article that Piper wrote about repentance in regard to our suffering. I remember reading this article when it was first published after the tsunami in Thailand.
There are people who completely remove God from their circumstances when they talk about calamities, disasters, or great loss. This is so puzzling to me. Have they read any of the bible? How about the phrase, "biblical proportions"? There was never a more colossal "natural" disaster than that of the Great Flood. You certainly can't remove God from that. God was never absent, nor is he now. He is still Lord over all. Before, during, and after that horrific tsunami. Before, during, and after the Virginia Tech tragedy.
Brian (Jenn's husband) had said during a sermon a few weeks ago that people today attend church in hopes of feeling better about themselves. They measure the effectiveness of the service based on how "good" they feel when they leave. But they shouldn't feel good about themselves. They should feel good about their God. Our self-esteems should be in ruins as we fall to our knees before a Holy, Perfect, and thank you Jesus, Merciful God who has seen fit to make a way for our wretched souls. I am not good. I am grateful to be reminded as often as possible.
The point of every deadly calamity is this: Repent. Let our hearts be broken that God means so little to us. Grieve that he is a whipping boy to be blamed for pain, but not praised for pleasure. Lament that he makes headlines only when man mocks his power, but no headlines for ten thousand days of wrath withheld. Let us rend our hearts that we love life more than we love Jesus Christ. Let us cast ourselves on the mercy of our Maker. He offers it through the death and resurrection of his Son. (Piper)