We all suffer through tragic events at one time or another. From one end of the spectrum to another. It could be that your team suffered a buzzer beater loss. Or it could be something like the struggle of paying your bills and then the car won’t start. Getting laid off. Having a miscarriage. Seeing the doctor and being told you have inoperable cancer. Or maybe it is that you will never be able to see your son or daughter again because of a custody loss or a harsh sentence by a judge.
Some things break us. In fact, a heartbreaking moment can strike at any time. You could be one day away from tragedy and not even know it. But how do you get through it? In what do you place your trust? What sustains you through the heartache?
This time of year is tough for some people. Honestly, there is not a time of year where it isn’t hard for some people so be on the lookout to help a friend in need.
I have a father-in-law who is now in heaven who passed on to cancer a few years back and it still sucks that he is gone. I miss him but it is not the same heartbreak as his daughters, son, and wife, experience deeply every day. I knew him for a few years but they knew him their whole lives. Last night, I talked with a close friend who said that a year ago to the day, I was singing a song at his mom’s funeral. Tragedy strikes everyone but not equally. So what do you hold onto as the ship is sinking?
This is a tough conversation and I feel that if your faith is only strong when things are going your way, then you have not faith. You have something else entirely. You may have a theory or a philosophy or even just a thought but I would not call it faith or trust if at the first sign of trouble, you run away from it.
I surely hope that Harrison continues to trust me as he is riding his back when he falls off. And I know that this is a trivial matter but sometimes, I see his fear of the hill up ahead and know that a time of testing is coming. Will he hold on to me through this trial or will he flee?
One of my favorite authors once said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” This quote is not just clever wordplay but it is the ultimate truth for me. If I were to say this quote and apply it a little differently, I would say that I believe in Jesus not only because I see Him, but because by Him, I see or view everything else.
He is the lens to which my eyes operate. And it is my hope that in everything I do, I look through His eyes. That when tragedy strikes, I know just where to look.
There was a quote in the new Star Wars movie that really stuck out to me. Maz Kanata, the short Yoda-type figure of the movie, said this: “I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes…”
There is truth there because many people see things the same way and yet, we still struggle for hope throughout the pain. You can know that many have gone through what you are going through and those same people can help you through this time. But I believe that it takes you being vulnerable and opening yourself to them.
And I believe that it is those who trust in Jesus who have the most hope. They ultimately have something worth placing their hope and trust in. Granted, you may get comfort from something else but how fleetingly and sustaining is it? I know many devout people who can gain comfort in the worst of tragedies and those people are so unbelievably strong that it is admirable.
I even know “Christians” who would say that they believe in Jesus but they do not have hope in their pain. They throw their faith to the wind and cast it aside when, in those moments of suffering, Jesus wants us to draw near to him. He wants us to embrace Him in the heartbreaking or heart shattering moments.
So as you struggle, or as heartbreak strikes, whom will you trust? And who can you go to during those times? Please know that they will come. They are a part of life and I do not want you to be unprepared for when they strike.