Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tragedy strikes

Tragedy strikes. No one is exempt. It comes swiftly, surprising those who are touched, leaving bewilderment and shock in its wake. As I get older I am realizing that tragedy is a normal part of the human experience. In the last month alone I have been aware of the following:

  • a 4 year old boy is diagnosed with a brain tumor
  • a 38 year old mother dies leaving a husband and three children
  • a 48 year old man is suddenly jobless after years of faithful work on the job
  • a father falls breaking his neck, he struggles for life for 6 weeks, and then passes away
  • an oldest son commits suicide leaving his parents devastated and questioning
  • a young mother's breast cancer returns with a vengeance 
  • a young preacher is killed in a head-on collision leaving his family fatherless and his church pastorless
How do we survive these kinds of things? Where do we go with our grief? Where do we take our questions, our anger, our pain, our fear? I've stood by watching these stories be lived out and I've wondered, how does someone survive that tragedy? And I've prayed. "God, be real to them. Be real to them. Let them feel your presence." 

My cancer diagnosis can't even compare to some of these other losses, but the one thing it has shown me is that God is real. He is here. He will never leave. 

In our anguish we usually question "Why?" But I have found that this question never brings any comfort. And, honestly, if I knew why, would it really make me feel any better or lessen my grief or fill my emptiness? I don't think so. 

Instead of looking for "why" I start looking for "Who." Who is the one who said he will catch my tears in his hand and dry every tear from my eye, the one who said he would never leave me or forsake me, the one who said he would turn my mourning into dancing? He's the one who will see me through when tragedy strikes. He is the only one who can.

"The LORD is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope." Psalm 34:18

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

1 comment:

  1. Thats so true, we really can't ever know the why's or the why nots. I always figure that its just beyond my understanding and if I can't know why or why not, atleast I can know that God will grant peace and that He will be there when I need Him. Life outside this earth is not anything we can comprehend...death looks so much different from the other side. For us it is like looking through a glass darkly...we can't grasp it at many times but we can grasp onto God and that is where we cling.