It’s inevitable that some time in our life time we’ll experience afflictions, trials, and sometimes, even tragedy. How we handle those moments either can help us to grow and learn, or knock us into a “why me?” type of attitude. I’ve had some trials in my lifetime and I was so wrapped up in the moment had no idea that anything good could come of that event. I didn’t know that God would reveal to me the blessings he had planned. Looking back, I can now see how those life events have been blessings in disguise. But what about when tragedy strikes, a tragedy that to the core of your being you can’t understand?
I had a phone call this week from my sister who needed help in making sense of something like this. The core question, not only “how could something like this happen?” but also, “why did it happen to such good people?”. I prayed right there, hoping to somehow have the right words to help her, because I was even overcome by emotion when she shared the story. I don’t know if I helped. I felt like I didn’t have a good answer. I trusted that my words, no matter how insignificant, were the right ones but were they a good answer, when you’re trying to make sense of a tragedy. God is faithful though and if we’re aware will provide the help that we are looking for.
Trusting God is hard during trials and yet for Him it’s essential. It’s His desire, for us to trust Him, lean on Him and believe His promises. The whole Gospel of Jesus is prefaced on a trust and a need for Him. We need Him. We need Him to get to Heaven, and have eternal life. We need Him to be free of our bondage of the things of this life. And we need Him to make sense life itself. And when things of this life just don’t make sense, He want’s us to trust Him. God doesn’t lie. His promises are written down for us to be reminded of when we’re struggling.
Roman’s 8:28 says that “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord, and are called to His purpose”.
This is a promise, and even though, in this lifetime we may not get to know the “good” that will come out of a situation we still need to trust Him. He is with us and He loves us. John 3:16, one of the most famous promises of the bible says, “for God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God gave his only son to die on the cross for us. And He was a perfect son! He had done everything right! He understands the pain of tragedy! “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Roman’s 5:8 When you trust in the promise of Jesus, you will have the opportunity to see in eternity, what “good” came from your personal tragedy. But this side of Heaven…well you may never know.
God, the maker of the universe wants us to trust Him. The enemy, the father of all lies, wants us to doubt God. So sometimes we can’t see…but we must trust.
I’ll end with a story that I heard today. Just when I needed it, because God is like that, He provides the answers when we are willing to listen. To paraphase the story, because I just caught the tale end of it, which I know is the part I was supposed to hear by the way.
There was a man who was stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere. He only had the most basic of needs. He had fashioned a small shelter out of brush and branches and was able to find enough food to barely survive. He was miserable and missed his loved ones. He prayed every day to be rescued but never saw a plane or ship anwhere in sight.
One day his small shelter was struck by lightning and went up in flames. He was so mad! He shook his fists at God and said…”Why me? I’ve been praying everyday, asking you so send someone to rescue me. This small comfort was all I had in this aweful place.” He couldn’t believe that this would happen after being stranded for so long. How could God allow this to happen? Well, the next day, the man was rescued from the island by a ship that had seen the smoke coming from the desolate place.
For a moment he was mad, and he had lost his trust in God, but God heard his prayers. The answer to the man’s problem didn’t come in the way that he had imagined. However, God could see the ship that the man could not.
We need to believe that He will make sense out of the tragedy because ………We can’t see what God can see.