Finding A Way Through the Tragic World We Live In
An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.
Suffering, pain… loss. The shock of trying to comprehend sudden disaster, it’s like a crazy carnival ride that won’t stop and we’re feeling dizzy and sick and we want to get OFF, but we can’t. Finding a way to cope, to comprehend, as we travel through a life tragedy is one of the hardest jobs a parent ever has to take on.
I’m not a theologian or biblical scholar; I am a father and a husband, a pastor and a friend. It’s from those perspectives I write today. I have to believe in redemption, without redemption I can’t make sense of all the pain and suffering and the tragedies life throws at all of us.
I recognize that we live in a flawed world, one that’s out of balance and imperfect; but that only helps me understand the context for tragedy. When tragedy gets personal, the theories and intellectual discussions about the character of God and the nature of man quickly evaporate.
I have to turn to scripture to find a thread of sanity and hold tightly to my faith, wondering as I do…. does God really care, is He really near to us and our pain? Can I trust in His hand to hold and guide me and my family? Tragedy begs us to ask the questions.
In that search for faith, I invariably return to I Corinthians 13. It clears my mind and resets my perspective from the eyes of my fear, anger and bewilderment to gaze up at an eternal God who made us and is desperate to redeem His creation. I remember His love, His concern and His compassion for me, for us, for mankind.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
I remember that God didn't abandon me/us. Instead, He chose to take on the flesh we feel, to make himself man and live a vulnerable existence on earth. He chose to become a tragic tale of personal sacrifice, intense suffering and ultimate loss; all so we could have hope, so we could live. It helps me understand, once again, that God isn't ignoring our pain and loss. He’s feeling it with us.
Parents, let’s be extra careful to hold fast to our faith, hope and love. Protecting our hearts and our families from believing that God’s heart is anything but grieved by the losses brought on by senseless tragedies. He’s not just sitting in the clouds of heaven, distracted and unconcerned with our lives, He’s deeply invested in them, now and forever.