Some awakened today in the midst of tragedy. I heard yesterday that a brother of a dear friend awoke to find his house on fire. I can only imagine the pain of losing years of cherished memories the day before Thanksgiving. But what if he and his wife had not awoken? What if they had slept through the fire? What then?
Others awaken today in suffering. Another dear friend has a wife who is battling cancer. She has hurt so long. I can only imagine the pain of years of cancer, only to wake to enjoy more pain the day of Thanksgiving. But what if the cancer had taken her years ago? What then?
I awaken today remembering a tragedy, my son, bloody and broken, lying on the floor of a house that no longer exists. Perpetually 17 years old I miss him every day. Awkward, he had a gentle soul. But what if I had never known him, never enjoyed his presence for those 17 years? What then?
Life is filled with tragedy. Some tragedy just happens, while other tragedy is of our making. As I thought on the suffering of life it came home to me that suffering and want have brought growth to me much more than pleasure ever has. Few trees survive on a mountain top, and those that do are often weak and spindly. The strongest trees grow in the valley, struggling upward, rising up to God. I watched a movie last night called “A Christmas Angel”. In it I heard this said:
“Everyone suffers. Good people sometimes suffer. There is no reason for the suffering.”
Though this was a pretty good movie the closing sentiment was incorrect. Yes, we all suffer. The gentle suffer storms, the good hurt, the pleasant endure the unpleasant. It is not without reason that we suffer. We suffer because we live in a broken world. We ourselves are broken. But God is there. God loves us. And God promises throughout the Scripture, and especially in Romans 8:28:
All things work together for good to those who love the Lord,
To those who are called according to His purpose.
You may not see the good in your tragedy at this moment, but a good and grace filled God is above the tragedy. He is there. He will hold you, and be with you, if you will but call to Him. Some awoke today to tragedy, past, present, and future. But God is there. Lay the burden of it down, take His nail scarred hand, and let Him lead you through it.