3 truths to remember when tragedy strikes

3 truths to remember when tragedy strikes June 10, 2015


At any given moment, your phone could buzz in your pocket or purse with tragic news that could instantly change your world. This week, a family in our community received one of those heartbreaking phone calls. Their eight-year-old son had been killed in a car accident. I was part of officiating his funeral yesterday afternoon. I’ll never forget the wailing of his mother as they closed the casket and she saw her son’s body for the last time. Please pray for this family as they grieve and face the reality of life without their son.

In moments like that, our minds are filled with all kinds of questions and emotions. We may ask, “Why did God allow this to happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much pain in the world? How can any good possibly come out of this?”

There are no simple cliches that can erase the unimaginable pain family’s feel in tragedies like this one, but these promises from God’s word give me hope and strength when tragedy strikes:

1. You won’t “get over” this, but you will get through this.

We never get over the loss of a child or a loved one. We’re not supposed to. There’s a scar we’ll carry until we’re reunited in eternity, but in the meantime, God will carry you through this and give you the strength to persevere through the pain. This isn’t the end of your story (or their story either). Because of Jesus, “Goodbye,” is really just, “See you soon.”

Dave Willis quote Bible never says figure it out

2. God is not distant from your pain.

In times of tragedy, one of the most comforting verses of the Bible is the very shortest verse. It simply says, “Jesus wept.” Those two words remind me that our Savior isn’t a cold-hearted cosmic judge disconnected from our pain. He’s a loving Father and Friend who is walking with us and even carrying us through life’s most difficult times. Jesus also said, “Never will I leave you or forsake you.”

Dave Willis quote quotes God's timing

3. God will bring something good out of the tragedy.

One of the most beautiful promises in the Bible is that God “causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him…” (Romans 8:28). On this side of eternity, we don’t always see how he takes the broken pieces and creates something beautiful with them, but we can have peace in knowing that he will redeem the tragedy somehow in His perfect timing. Perhaps some of the good He will bring in your tragedy is to use the pain to bring you closer to Him or bring you into a relationship with Him for the very first time.

If you’re going through a time of tragedy, please don’t lose hope. God is with you, He is for you and He will never leave your side. You may feel alone right now, but the arms that created the universe are embracing you. He will carry you through.

Dave Willis quote God has a purpose for your pain

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