My daughter’s former student was shot and killed this Thanksgiving—a random act of violence. A volunteer basketball coach who was loved by his community. He was only twenty. The younger kids looked up to him.
My close friend hasn’t regained her sense of taste and smell long after recovering from Covid.
Friends of our friends have lost their lives to the virus.
Several friends have been widowed too young.
Before I’d lived long enough to know better, I had the idea that if I followed Jesus, I’d be immune to hardships and pain. Then, in a few short years, my husband was gone and I was sole provider for two children, one of whom had severe handicaps. Reality knocked on my door and schooled me.
Life isn’t fair. There will always be random tragedies. How are we supposed to live with the juxtaposition of God’s Love and Goodness and human suffering?
I feel cold as I say this, but sometimes it helps me to use logic as to why a tragedy occurred. He shouldn’t have been speeding around that curve. Her friends warned her about that guy and she wouldn’t listen. I want things to make sense. It’s easier if there’s a reason for misfortune.
But what about hardships without reasons?
Prayer requests pour in, and I’m honored to pray. Just below the surface of laundry, dishes, cooking, writing, and being with folks, there runs a continual thread of prayers that stitch in and out and around my thoughts and activities.
Even as I mull this over, another call comes; a family has lost their son in a skiing accident.
I beg and plead with God. Sometimes I cry.
There are times when I feel emboldened and hopeful, when I believe the answers will come.
Other times I want to say, Enough. How can people survive these hardships?
Ignorance is bliss— I wish to go back to the me that didn’t know the specific sad scenarios. I’d like to be less informed about peoples’ misery. But, without knowing, how would I pray?
My thoughts overwhelm me. Do I dare believe God is big enough and available?
I think of the Garden of Eden—God’s original plan. From the beginning, humans were given free will. Adam and Eve, God’s first children, disobeyed God right off the bat, and our world changed forever. Their choices went against God’s plan and set into motion pain and death.
As Christians, how do we trust Him while lives fall apart around us? What do we say when we don’t have the answers?
In good times and bad we must affix ourselves firmly to God.
Things that help me:
Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you.
Be honest; tell Him everything. He’s always available and present. Take time to listen to God. Pray for healing and miracles.
Prayers offered in faith will restore them from sickness and bring them to health.
Never give up.
Keep praying and never grow discouraged.
Read God’s Word daily.
Ingest it like bread. Ask God for truths you can apply to your life. The Bible is alive and active; unlike any other book.
Man doesn’t live by bread alone. Rather he lives on every word that comes from the mouth of the Eternal One.
Write Scriptures and thoughts as God speaks to you. List answers to prayers you’ve prayed; rehearse the ways God has already been faithful.
Stay close to Christian friends.
Wash yourself in songs of biblical truth.
Live in faith.
Believe in what you don’t yet see.
Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Take your focus off yourself.
Marvel at creation.
Trust God with your life.
Surrender to Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.
Remember God is other than us.
His ways are not our ways. We aren’t meant to understand why bad things happen.
My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55: 8-9
Jesus died to give us new life.
He resurrected from death and sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and help us. One day we will live forever with him in heaven.
His divine power has given us everything we need to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One who called us by His glory and virtue.
2 Peter 1:3
We are aliens in this world.
We shouldn’t expect to be comfortable here. We are made for another world.
Beloved, remember you don’t belong in this world. You are resident aliens living in exile…
1 Peter 2:11
Aim at Heaven
Aim: to direct toward a certain object or goal, to point, to aspire.
C. S. Lewis tells us that Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.
Aim at heaven and you will get everything thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.
C. S. Lewis
As we celebrate Christmas; the miraculous birth of Jesus, let’s remember all He’s done for us. As His hands and feet, let’s shower those around us with His love and mercy.