He rose from his seat and scampered to the door to answer an unexpected call. What he heard next would change his life forever: “Mom’s not breathing.”
Our small church wasn’t prepared for the tragedy. Nor was her spouse, child, or parents. Kelley was in the prime of life-soon to reach the 40 milestone, and from all outward appearances healthy. She was an only child and the mother of an only grandchild soon to celebrate his eleventh birthday. She was a wife celebrating sixteen years of marriage to the man she loved. But everything changed that Sunday night when Kelley died of a massive heart attack. Crowds of mourners packed the mortuary’s chapel and waited in line for hours to express sympathy…and perhaps to consider their own mortality.
Tragedies are difficult to prepare for…some more so than others, but God’s assures, I will never fail you. I will never abandon you (Hebrews 13:5-6 NLT).
Disease, death, and tragedy remind me I live in a sin-tainted world and experience the far-reaching consequences of the first couple’s rebellion. Yet bad things aren’t evidence of the absence of God’s love. Though I’m unsure why he doesn’t rectify every wrong, by faith I trust that he isn’t a capricious, unloving God.
Asking why is typical in tragic occurrences. Jesus himself did when hanging on the cross paying for the world’s sins: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Matthew 27:46 NLT). I’ve done it when walking through spiritual, physical, and emotional valleys. Unfortunately, God doesn’t normally answer the why question, but he will show us how to convert our loss, learn from it, and grow through it. We can redeem our losses by reminding ourselves that he’s always present with us and that his strength is more than sufficient to carry us through any difficulty life shoves our way. While beneficial to lean on others, the ultimate unmovable wall is our faith in God.
Prayer: Sovereign God, we confess our failure to understand the senseless tragedies that sometimes come into our lives, but we trust Your wisdom and by faith rely on You to carry us through the dark valleys.
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