When Tragedy Strikes: How to Deal and Heal Through Life’s Battles
“Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” ~Martha, [John 11:21]
A lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster.
Many of us have suffered from a tragedy in our lives.
Many of us have felt this type of pain.
Many of us have been angry with God.
It’s okay to admit it. We’re human. We have emotions. God knows this, and while warning us not to act on our emotions, He does allows us to be angry [Psalm 4:4], [Ephesians 4:26].
Life definitely has its trials and tribulations. While we’re fully aware that we’ll face difficulties, actually being in and dealing with the situation is a different story.
It. . .gets. . .real.
Death of a loved one
Loss of a job or financial hardship
Struggle in marriage or broken relationship
Rape and abuse
Disease and illness
Accidents and disabilities
Natural Disasters and destruction of property
The list goes on. Yes, we’re Christians who love Jesus and serve the Lord, but sometimes, hearing an “I’m sorry for your loss,” or “I’m praying for you” doesn’t make the cut. Sometimes the physical, mental, and emotional pain is so overwhelming that nothing anyone says or does will help. Grieving is not an easy process.
Where were you, God, when my mother died of cancer?
God, why did you let that happen to our country?
Why, Lord, am I being punished?
Why, Father, did You make me die on the cross?
Wait a minute. . . what?
That last one was intentional. And just as you stopped in your tracks, I stopped when it came across my mind a few years ago.
While praying, with tear-filled eyes and balled up in fetal position of the corner of my bedroom, those words fell in my spirit. Why? Because Jesus never said them.
As the Messiah, Jesus was fully aware of His fate, knowing His death on the cross was in His future, yet doing nothing to avoid it. He, instead, prayed about it, endured it, and after all the pain, he rose from it. As Christians, we will also rise from our afflictions [Psalms 34:19].
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” [Psalms 30:5]
As Sarah was saddened of her infertility, as King David mourned the loss of his first son, as the woman with the twelve-year hemorrhage dealt with her health issue, as King Nebuchadnezzar lost his kingdom, as Job lost his home and family, as Mary and Martha mourned the loss of their brother Lazarus, and as the disciples lost hope after their Lord and Savior died on the cross. . .God restored them.
Many things in life happen completely out of our control. Sometimes, God does not give us a reason for the pain we experience. But His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts [Isaiah 55:8-9]. As God’s children, through Christ, we are called to be faithful, no matter what.
Grieving takes time. Processing devastation takes time. Healing takes time. Yet, they make us stronger. Someone who has dealt with losing a loved one, knows how to console someone who lost a loved one. Someone who has had a life-threatening disease understands how to relate and encourage someone dealing with the same. Someone who has experienced trauma knows how to motivate and help someone who has dealt with the same (and possibly write a book that will do so for millions of readers).
Although we don’t have all of the answers, we know that God promised in His Word that everything will work out for our good [Romans 8:28]. Tragedy does not mean God punished you; it means God chose you.
“Even When It Hurts’ ~Hillsong UNITED
With a B.A in English, Ashley Cottrell has written blogs for Virginia Bride Magazine, Bronze Mag, and has been a contributing writer for numerous other digital entities. Although a Virginia-native, Ashley resides in Puerto Rico fulfilling her passion as a freelance writer. She aims to use her gift of writing to inspire others and share the gospel of Christ. When she's not writing, you can find her nose-deep in a game of chess, Salsa dancing, or making homemade skin care products.