Finding the Good in the midst of the Tragedy
Since the beginning of the year, many people have lost a loved one or faced some tragic situation. Some of them have lost a mother, father, uncle, aunt, friend, colleague or even their only child.
Consequently, they are presently experiencing severe emotional turmoil. Many of them are unable to find peace and are still battling with guilt, anger, and even depression.
During traumatic or painful periods of our lives, it is hard to be comforted, and it is, even more, unbearable to see any good in our troubles.
But for us to find peace and to grow into a better person, we need to search for and receive the lessons in the midst of the tragedy.
“Can any good come out of a bad situation?” You may ask, “And if there is, how can I find it when I am hurting so badly?”
These were also my thoughts when my friend and colleague Arthur suddenly died. His unexpected death has left all of us reeling in shock and amazement. Arthur was full of life and vigor, so no one expected that his final days on earth were coming to an end.
We all expected him to live until old age and, of course, this is a natural expectation because all of us want to live a long and healthy life on earth. But Art never made it to his next birthday.
We went about our regular duties at work, looking after our patients, talking and laughing with each other while others became a little upset with each other. These were all part of a typical day at work. Then suddenly without warning one of us is snatched away, and we are left stunned. Many puzzling questions erupted in our minds with no valid answers.
We tried to reflect back to see if there were any signs any warnings but we found nothing. We flung our ramblings at God, but we received silence. But is the Lord silent or is He trying to get our attention?
Was He attempting to speak to us but we were too busy planning and building? Time moves so fast that it is sometimes impossible for us to find an empty slot on our calendar to give God an appointment.
Then suddenly a bolt of lightning struck our path, and we are forced to stop, examine and cleanse. After all, we are mortals, and our life is fragile. We need each other and our Creator to survive.
As I examined the past tragic events and I tried to pick up the broken pieces to make some sense out of the chaos, I remained clueless and my confusion intensified. So I went into the sanctuary of God, and I asked Him only one question. Why?
As usual, the Lord not only had the answers, He comforted, and He absorbed the pain. He said,
“My children I am weeping with you. I cry because I know your future. I know the real potential that I created within you. I know the thoughts that I think towards you. They are thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11).
“However, you will not trust me enough to surrender all of your plans, troubles, burdens and your life into my hands. You give me only a third or a quart of yourself, and you hold back the rest. Whatever I received I returned likewise. When you give me your all, you will receive all of me.
“So when life’s tragedy interrupts your busy schedule take some time to reflect, analyze and learn.
“You are important and the things that you do and the words that you speak will determine your future because from the produce of your lips and the fruit of your mouth you will be filled and be satisfied. Therefore,
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
“Be good to each other. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hands to do so. (Proverbs 3:27)
“Pause; take a minute to touch your neighbor with encouraging words and meaningful deeds.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)
“Love yourself and love each other because how can you love God whom you cannot see but hate your brother whom you can see.
“Never forget that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
My friend Art has passed from this world into another dimension, but he left a valuable legacy that I received and will always cherish.
I know that you will also find good and peace in your time of bereavement within the sanctuary of God.
Additional references: Proverbs 18:20; Matthew 5: 38-48; 1 John 4:12-21; Colossians 3:12-17; Romans 8:31-39.