To whom do you turn when tragedy strikes? Tragic situations like: the death of a family member, disability, diagnosis of a terrible disease, divorce, abandonment, or loss of a business or job to name a few.
Where does one turn? Many turn to family, friends, psychologists, self-help books, or their inner-self. Obviously, any of these sources can offer solace, a degree of companionship, and a measure of guidance and direction.
Charlie was 65 when he lost his beautiful young daughter of 27 to a botched surgery. Laura left two young children and a devastated husband behind. While standing with Charlie in a hospital waiting room at 2AM when he received the unwelcomed news, his pastor witnessed Charlie’s emotions turn from those of a desperate hope to that of a blinding rage against God. He said: “I no longer believe in God, he could have saved my daughter but he let her die. I’m through with God.” Wisely, all his pastor said was: “Charlie, I am sorry that Laura died. Jesus still loves you and will bring you through this tragedy”
Over the next month Charlie refused to attend the church he once faithfully attended. Finally, after many people prayed for and encouraged him, he was able to work through his grief. Charlie turned back to the Lord, and was inspired to begin a new ministry. He took it upon himself to began encouraging families who, like he and his wife, experienced the death of their loved one. Charlie and his wife would visit with those families and offer words of faith, Scripture, and encouragement. Within one month Charlie made a 180 degree turn. God’s tender love and mercy turned Charlie around. He also gave Charlie a beautiful sense of hope by inspiring him to begin ministering to bereaved families.
Charlie made one of the most important decisions of his life after Laura died. He decided to run TO God rather than run away from God. Tragically, when tested, many Christians decide to run away from God. Many run and never come back. Thankfully, the majority of Christians run toward God when personal tragedies occur.
Where do you turn in the midst of tragedy? Charlie’s true story proclaims the eternal truth that Jesus is the go-to person to turn to when tragedy strikes. If you are in the running away mode, please stop running from God and run back to him. Only the Lord can provide you with peace, encouragement, and a reason to live. Trusting him through tragedy is the stuff that faith is made of. It is the stuff that propels one forward in the quest to Christian maturity.