These beautiful people are my cousin, Linda, and her husband and son. They were hit by a drunk driver this week. In critical condition, she will soon hear that both her husband and son were killed in the collision.
Moments before the accident, this photo was taken. They had been celebrating the joy of Christmas, a holiday now turned tragic for Linda and her three daughters. It's one of those moments that doesn't seem fair.
As most trouble does, it causes us to look at God. Sometimes with questions. Sometimes with anger. Sometimes with blame. But sometimes, after the onslaught of confusion, we can look at Him in trust. Some passages that I read in Ezekiel this morning reminded me of this truth.
Shifting to those Judeans taken captive, we see similar discouragement. Sadness ruled in place of joy. Despondency in place of hope. Oh, they'd been given a prophetic word, one that said in essence, "Go ahead and get comfortable here 'cause you're gonna be in this foreign land a long, long time." Not a God-word to pin dreams on, for sure.
However, among both those remaining in Jerusalem and those taken captive were the faithful. The end result for the faithful was salvation. For those in Jerusalem, a spiritual mark was put upon them that spared them from physical destruction. For those in captivity, God promised, "I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone...I will gather (them)... from the countries where (they) have been scattered, and I will give (them) the land of Israel... Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them...and they shall be my people, and I will be their God" (Ezekiel ll 14-24 NKJV). Their circumstances were no less tragic. Their answer wasn't a swift fix. But their steadfast trust in God's word resulted in triumph.Their faithfulness in difficulties paid off...So does ours.
When clouds of trouble descend and cover everything that seems right and good and fair, when those clouds seem to snuff out our joy and their heaviness causes us to despair, when those clouds hide God from us until we become convinced He is absent and has withdrawn His care, we still have His promises. Those promises are reminders of the truth that remains sure, regardless of circumstantial challenges and changes. "I will never leave you; never will I forsake you" (Heb.13:5 NIV). "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Proverbs 46:1 KJV). "Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things..." (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV). "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-38 KJV).
In the moment of hurt, these words seem like platitudes when in fact, they are lifelines. If we can grasp them with weak, trembling fingers of faith, they will tug us through the mist and into the light once more.
Tip/Tidbit: Whether you are in a moment of joy or sorrow, meditate on God's everlasting promises. Fill your heart with His precious truths so that you are empowered to make faith choices rather than emotional ones.
Take a minute to study a seed or look up videos about the universe to remind yourself that God is far wiser than we are and far more powerful than we. Rather than letting these facts prompt another "Why didn't You when You are able to God?" let them console you with the comfort that He can bring out of painful change that which is both beautiful and grand...and eternal.