This past week Becky and I attended a family reunion. My sister and two brothers came from various parts of the US and we enjoyed catching up with each other while hiking and biking around Chattanooga. One of my aunts, who is downsizing, sent a box of pictures and memorabilia for us to go through. In the box were newspaper articles of a tragedy that struck our family in 1975 resulting in the death of my parents. I hadn’t read all of these accounts, but a flood of memories rushed over me as I read and we talked over the events of that day.
The Bible reminds us that the momentary troubles of this life pale in comparison to the glory that awaits us in Heaven. Although it took years for me to understand the “whys” of that day, God used it to get my attention and turn me to Him. If anyone understood what it meant to grieve and see a loved one suffer, it was God, the Father, as He saw Jesus die on the cross. I remember how God protected me from bitterness and showed His love through caring spiritual friends. I heard Joni Eareckson Tada say that accepting the trials of this life, “From a Biblical point of view, is with open arms, receiving whatever God has given us with thanksgiving and embracing it.”
When tragedy strikes, and it will at some point, we need to accept it simply on the fact of who God is, His character- that He is love. He cares for us and He has a plan that we don’t always understand but we have to trust Him anyway. Who are we to question the God who dreamed up time and space, spoke the stars and sun into being, and created the mountains, seas, all the animals and each one of us. He saw my tears years ago and said to me, “I loved you enough to die for you.” May our prayer be: “Lord, since you know what’s best for me, help me to trust you even when I don’t understand?”