By Phil Sanders
“I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all. Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them” (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12).
It is not a question of if dark days come but when. Time and chance overtake us all. It usually happens when we least expect it. Tragedy is usually an interruption that takes our breath away and leaves us stumbling through the motions. Befuddled and distressed, we are never more aware of our need for God and His love.
When tragedy strikes, turn through the pages of your Bible. Find those marked verses that give hope and promise. Too often we read those passages and smile. Now read them as your own. Believe them with all your heart. God never bears false witness; He is the God of truth.
When tragedy strikes, turn your heart to God and not away from Him. He is not unaware of your pain and confusion. You can be assured that not a bird falls outside the knowledge of God. He sees and knows every detail. He hasn’t abandoned you, but he can and does take the hurts of life and make good out of them (Romans 8:28).
When tragedy strikes, pray more earnestly. When the lord Jesus faced his harshest night, He spent it praying. he cried out for the will of God to be done. His prayer that fateful night has blessed humanity for two thousand years.
When tragedy strikes, weep in your loss but rejoice anyway in the Lord and in the love of good people. Remember that Paul’s advice, “rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say, rejoice” came from a prison cell. Paul did not know whether he would live or die (Philippians 1:21-23; 4:4). He could rejoice, however in the wonderful promises of God. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s (Romans 14:7-9).
- Phil Sanders, Edmond, OK; Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY. Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com